Right royal chance to party but has meaning been lost?
ACCORDING to the Church in Wales, the number of christenings across the country has approximately halved in the past 25 years.
Twenty years ago, in 1992, there were 13,038 ceremonies in Wales, which had dropped to 9,193 by 2002.
And in 2012 the figure stood at 7,540.
The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Right Reverend John Davies, admitted than many people who came to ask for christening ceremonies for their children are not regular church-goers — but said the ministry needed to be ready to welcome them to a spiritual journey
He said: "From my experience, when I was serving in Monmouth, the majority of people having their children christened had little or no connection with the current church.
"There was not always a clear sense from the family what it meant to them.
"From my perspective, I would say they are welcome, but before I would want to talk to them about what it meant, and spend some time together discussing it.
"I would want them to understand that baptism, which in our tradition is an inter-changable term with christening, is being incorporated into the Christian family, and there should be some demonstration of that with the child. It is to be taken seriously.
"It is incorporating the individual into the family of the church.
"Just as birth is the beginning of a human journey, the service marks, I would hope, the birth of a spiritual journey, of spiritual growth and spiritual family.
"I do not know what motivates those who are not regular church-goers.
"Perhaps it is some deep inner need to that people have to participate in some act of thanks giving, they recognise that the earth is a miracle, and want to do their best for the children. But there is no clear line.
"From the perspective of the church, we need to be ready, if not to welcome without question, then to welcome when inquiring about it and hopefully participate. It is a wonderful opportunity to make people feel welcome.
"I would discourage doing it indiscriminately, bringing children in with no questions asked, because it suggests no is being thoughtful about it.
"I don't know if, with the christening of Prince George there will be an increase with it being in the public eye, although I believe the Archbishop of Canterbury is hoping it might happen.
"But I wish the prince all the best, and hope it will be the beginning of an enjoyable and fulfilling journey of faith".