Once considered a standard religious rite, the practice of christening a child has steadily declined over the past 50 years to make way for naming ceremonies.
But in the past two years there has been a resurgence in the number of babies being baptised.
St John’s Anglican Church at Cooks Hill, Newcastle’s oldest church building, reported a record two years of baptisms.
Last year the church had 86 baptisms, three more than in 2009. They were the best figures recorded by the church since the 1950s.
Reverend Stewart Perry attributed the decline in baptisms to a general disconnection with the church.
‘‘There used to be this expectation that people got their child baptised, it was rare to find a child that wasn’t,’’ he said.
‘‘Now cultural expectations to baptise children is nowhere near as strong. Most people want to give their child the chance to make their own decisions about faith.’’
Mr Perry said the baptism revival was a flow-on from an increasing number of people getting married at St John’s.
He said 10per cent to 15per cent of babies he baptised were children of parishioners and the majority were people who had married in the church and returned after the birth of their first child.
First-time parents Meagan and Lachlan Clarke, of Cardiff South, are one of three families getting their baby baptised in the church tomorrow.
The Clarkes do not attend church regularly and found St John’s by looking on the internet.
Their child Scarlett will be the only one of five grandchildren in the family to be baptised.
‘‘We weren’t married in a church ... but when it comes to our child we have gone for the complete opposite, for more formality,’’ Mr Clarke said.