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; adults can be baptised too. Baptism for adults usually follows a period of worshipping regularly with the Church, and a course of instruction. It is often linked to Confirmation, when an adult will reaffirm his/her baptismal vows in a special service before the Bishop.
What is Baptism (CHRISTENING)?
As parents, when you bring a child for Baptism, you are thanking God for his gift of life, and making a decision to start your child on a journey of faith. In the service, you will be asking for the Church’s support to bring him/her up as a Christian, the godparents will promise to help you, and the Church will promise to welcome and pray for your child and your family.
For your child, being baptised marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith, in which he/she becomes a member of the local and worldwide Christian family. This journey involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, and turning towards Christ.
Baptism is a ‘sacrament’: a visible sign of God’s love. In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. We acknowledge that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.
Wherever possible, baptisms are held during the main service on a Sunday morning, when the whole congregation can be present to welcome you and your child. There may be more than one family involved.
At the beginning of the service the parents and godparents are told what the Church expects of them – that they will accept the responsibility of bringing their child up as a Christian and helping him/her to keep God’s commandments. That means being ready to pray for their child, and show him/her by their own example what it means to belong to the community of faith.
. The parents and godparents then make three decisions on behalf of the child:
- to reject evil
- to repent of sin
- to turn to Christ
- and three statements, to affirm their own Christian faith and belief:
- in God the Father, the creator of the world
- in Jesus Christ, his Son, who died and rose again from the dead
- In God’s Holy Spirit, who guides and inspires our daily lives as we try to live as ChristiansGodparentsIt is important to consider carefully who you ask to be a Godparent. They will be asked to stand alongside you, and before the congregation, to make declarations about their own faith. They should consider it a privilege to be asked, but you may like to consider how willing they will be to undertake this duty.You may like to read this document, as you make your choice, and perhaps share it with the people you ask to be Godparents.TO Arrange a Baptism
- We expect that all those seeking baptism for themselves or their children will attend church at least once before the service is arranged. So a good first step is to come along on a Sunday morning at 10.30am, and speak to the priest at the end of it. Alternatively, you could ring the Priest-in-Charge, the Venerable Peggy Jackson, with any further queries, on 02920 567 393.
- Should I be a godparent?
- NB: Since Godparents have to have been baptised themselves, an unbaptised person cannot be a Godparent. They could, however, still be a ‘sponsor’, which would mean that they do everything in the service, which Godparents do, but their names could not be recorded in our registers or on the Baptism certificate.
- The godparents you choose for your child must be at least 16 years of age, and it is a requirement that godparents have themselves been baptised. There should be at least one man and one woman.
- Your child will be addressed by name, and baptised by the sprinkling of water on his/her head. The child is then anointed with holy chrism oil, and later receives a lighted candle, as a symbol of becoming a member of Christ’s body, the Church.