Baptism (Christening)

Baptism is the beginning of a journey – a journey of faith. In Baptism God makes us one of His children. We become a member of the Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

Baptism is a proof that God truly loves us. He reaches out to us and helps us journey with him for the whole of our earthly life, so that we may also be with him after our death.

Baptism is not just for children, and although this is written for parents / guardians, adults can be baptised too. But adults are only baptised when they have been regularly worshipping with the Church for some months, and have undergone a period of instruction.

What is Baptism?

In Baptism, you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life. You are deciding to start your child on the journey of faith, and asking for the Church’s support.

In relation to your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith. This journey involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ, and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

Baptism is a ‘sacrament’: a visible sign of God’s love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.

People often say that Baptism gives them a feeling of cleansing. The word ‘baptism’ comes from a Greek word meaning to dip or immerse in water. During the service the priest will pour water over the person being baptized or plunge them under it. This is symbolic to show that Christ washes away a person’s sins and gives them a new fresh start.

The Service

At the beginning of the service the parents and godparents are told what the Church expects of them.
Each child must be taught:

  • to worship on Sundays
  • to know the Lord’s Prayer and the Commandments of the Lord
  • to read the Holy Bible.

In Baptism the parents and godparents make three decisions for the child:

  • to reject evil
  • to repent of sin
  • to turn to Christ

They also make three decisions announcing clearly that they:

  • believe in God, who made the world
  • believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead
  • believe that God sends his Holy Spirit to us all to help us in our daily lives as we try to live as Christians

If parents and godparents do not play their part then the child will not get far on the journey of faith.

Godparents

The godparents you choose for your child must be at least 16 years of age, and there must be at least one male and one female. It is a requirement that godparents have themselves been baptised.

Arranging a Baptism

We expect all those seeking baptism for themselves or their children to attend church at least once before seeking to arrange a service. So the first step is to come along to one of our Sunday services, and speak to the clergy at the end of it. The priest will explain the next stage.

When arranging a baptism for your child please remember:

  • The service is not private. You are not “booking” or “hiring” the church” – you are coming to the church to ask God to do something for your child.
  • We have many requests for baptism, and so we often have two families in church at the same time.

For further information please see the documents below.

Should I be a godparent?

 

Your child’s Baptism

To speak to us about a Baptism (Christening) contact the Revd Pauline.