Christening (or Baptism) is the Church’s special welcome into God’s family. People are normally baptised as babies, but many are baptised as children, young people or adults.
When a priest baptises someone, he or she makes the sign of the cross on their forehead, and pours water on their head. Sometimes people are dipped in the water or go down into it. Jesus himself was baptised in the river Jordan before he began his ministry of teaching and preaching.
"When people are baptised, they make important promises about what they believe. The priest prepares them for baptism. They are baptised in the name of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit."
Parents and godparents make the promises for babies and young children who cannot answer for themselves. Parents, godparents and the church family also make promises of their own to provide the person being baptised with the resources, opportunities and encouragement to follow Jesus. They are normally given a lighted candle.
Baptism leads to ‘confirmation’ when young people and adults confirm the decision made on their behalf by their parents and godparents at baptism when they were babies (or young children) or by themselves if they were baptised later on.
Information from: Chelmsford Diocese