Baptisms

Introducing Baptism.

Some questions people ask…

What is the difference between Baptism and Christening?

There is no difference. Both refer to the same service.

What about Godparents?

It is usual to have between two and four Godparents. They should be baptised and mature enough to understand their special role of encouraging your child’s spiritual life.

How much does baptism cost?

There is no charge for baptism. Some families like to leave a donation and a plate is left out for this purpose. This is a voluntary gift.

What if I can’t, in all conscience, make the promises and declarations of faith?

The person being baptised joins a community of believers. This is not a step that should be taken lightly. Parents who cannot in conscience make the promises and declarations of faith may prefer the Service of Thanksgiving. This is an opportunity for parents to give thanks to God for the gift of their child. The minister prays for God’s blessing and prays that the child will come “to the fullness of faith”.

Will I be prepared for my child’s baptism? Yes – a member of the clergy will make a time to meet with you to discuss the baptism of your child. This is a marvellous opportunity to ask questions and consolidate your own faith. It will always be your choice as to whether you have a Baptism or a Service of Thanksgiving.

Can I receive adult baptism along with my child being baptised?

We welcome adults seeking baptism! A personal interview and preparation will be offered for this very special occasion.  The interview and preparation will need some time and require space to think without disruption.

Baptism – what can I expect?

  • This church is much more than an ancient and beautiful venue; it is the home of a lively and committed congregation who will want to support you prayerfully in the months before and after your child’s baptism.
  • It is usual for couples who want their child to be baptised to join us at least once a month for one of our weekly acts of worship. This allows you to get to know us and gain a more balanced understanding of the deep beliefs that underlie the Baptism Service that you are seeking.
  • We hope that you will continue the practice of regular attendance after your child has been baptised, perhaps coming along to the All Age services.
  • If you feel ready to enter into this form of commitment one of our clergy will be happy to see you and talk further about the possibility of a service.
  • We will then agree a date and time for your child’s baptism. This may be either in the context of one of our Sunday morning services or on a Sunday afternoon at a set time, which may be with other families.

What Baptism involves…

For you and the godparents

  • Thanking God for his gift of a child
  • Deciding to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church’s support
  • Joining the church and expressing your belief in God

For your child

  • Beginning a journey in faith
  • Being welcomed as a member of the world-wide Christian family
  • Sharing in the death and Resurrection of Jesus in a symbolic way

For the church

Promising to welcome, support and pray for you and your child

  • Providing a worshipping community where you and your family will feel welcome and able to grow in faith

The signs and symbols of Baptism…

Water – This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Water quenches our thirst, is refreshing and is necessary for life. In the same way, the water we use in baptism symbolises that the life of the risen Christ is given to us. Jesus gives us the water of life that quenches our thirst and helps us to grow spiritually.

The Cross – Ever since Jesus Christ was crucified, Christians have adopted the Cross as their sign. All who are baptised are signed with the Cross as a mark of their belonging to Christ.

The Candle – symbolises Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.The baptism candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life. The flame symbolises the flame of faith which is set alight in each generation. We pray that the light of God’s love will shine out through the life of each baptised person.