Alternative to christening

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isabella123 Posts: 175
Hi, Myself and DH are not religious at all (i'm not an aethaest but would be more spiritual) and toying with the idea of not christening our LO. It won't go down well on one side of the family but the other side agree with us. If you have decided not to christen how did you deal with the family opinions and did you do an alternative? And did you have problems getting into schools?
Anne Cordelia Shirley Posts: 4731
We didn't have a church wedding so most people knew we wouldn't be baptising. I know one of our parents was a bit uncomfortable but we didn't ask for opinions really. Our parents made their decisions and we make ours. Schools don't bother me. I'd rather homeschool than be forced to baptise just to avail of a state service. We've the name down for educate together and our local school prioritises those in the local area.
isabella123 Posts: 175
Yes I feel the same about the schools. I don't want to have to baptise just so my baby can get an education. I've a friend a teacher and said they take baptismal certs ahead of location which does bother me but I've a few years to worry about it! Did you do anything in place of christening?
Apache Posts: 182
We didn't christen either and have no intentions of doing so. We have our two year old daughter down for the local (catholic) national school along with a Church of Ireland school which is the same distance away. If she doesn't get into either, I will be kicking up a large fuss about being discriminated against due to our (lack of) religion! While it's legal for religious schools to discriminate on the basis of religion, I don't think they'll be wanting someone kicking up too much of a fuss given all the controversy regarding the slow divestment of national schools to non-denominational boards. That's what I'm counting on anyway! We didn't do anything in place of a christening, but did have a proper first birthday party for her, inviting the same people we'd invite to a christening.
Weird Cat Lady Posts: 3501
Isabella123, it seems the decision not to baptise children is becoming more commonplace among new parents. Change in schools is slow as Apache says, but hopefully enough progress will have been made to accommodate your wee one without a baptismal cert by the time school comes round. It's a waiting game. Are you thinking of doing something to celebrate your LO? It's a very personal decision and depends entirely on individual couples. Naming ceremonies and celebrations are beginning to be recognised as valid alternatives. We had a naming ceremony for our own one. I personally felt strongly about acknowledging and celebrating her birth, and in many ways it was more important to me than a wedding ever could be. It's really down to you what you want to do. It isn't necessary to do something, but parents have to give themselves permission to celebrate the birth of their children as they see appropriate. It can be as small or grand as you like. Best of luck.
Anne Cordelia Shirley Posts: 4731
We didn't end up doing a naming ceremony proper or anything specifically to welcome the babies but we go all out for the first birthday and both families were included in that. It was a better fit for us as a family and we were very happy with how things panned out. If we end up with the children attending a Catholic school we'll cross the communions and confirmations bridge if and when we have to. We're already thinking about a trip away during that time. From experience its better to present the decision as a fait accompli rather than ask for opinions. If you really don't want to have a christening don't let dire warnings about school and being left out sway you. We live in hope that our children will be in a more enlightened school environment than one which segregates children on the basis of religious beliefs. The more people who baptise just for the sake of school places the longer it will take to change the status quo.
Flower Girl Posts: 1645
We didn't have a Catholic wedding so, as ACS said, our parents weren't expecting any baptisms. And 3/4 of them were fine with that, while the fourth is too much of a gentleman to ever voice his feelings about it. So there were no problems there. I'm not going to worry about schools for the moment, we have no idea where we'll be living when that time comes so we'll have to just deal with it when it comes up. We didn't have a naming ceremony or anything either; honestly, I felt like her birth had already been so celebrated and she'd been showered with so many gifts that it seemed a bit redundant. Or maybe it was just post-partum laziness on my part...
lovelycuppatea Posts: 481
We're not religious and none of our parents are either so we had no issues with not baptising our fella. We wanted an excuse for a party though and of course to celebrate his birth so we had a party! It was very informal, we had a barbecue and invited close friends and family. It gave people who hadn't met him yet an opportunity to meet him and it was just a lovely afternoon.
isabella123 Posts: 175
All those ideas sound lovely! Yes I agree if more people didn't christen just for the schools reason things might change a lot quicker. Where I live it's still very much the norm to christen. In fact I don't know anyone who hasn't christened their child. And all the questions are when is the christening! Will have a talk with DH about it. We might do the big one year birthday party. I like the sound of that and I am way to sleep deprived to organise something right now! Thanks for all the replies.
Weird Cat Lady Posts: 3501
Right now? How conventional. We had ours when she was six months *smug* Half way from folk remembering they bought her gifts, and to her first birthday when she was due more. Trust me on this.