Baptism (also called Christening) is one on the principal sacraments of the Church. It is a service of thanksgiving before God to mark the beginning of someone's journey of Faith. Baptism also marks someone as a Christian and a family member of the Church of God; both the local and world-wide Church.
People may be baptized as an adult or older child, or may be baptized as a baby. See below for more information about this.
Baptisms usually take place during our principal Sunday morning services because baptism is about joining the family of the Church (either at 9.15am or 11am, depending on the church in question), but may occasionally be held on another day or time if there is a pastoral reason for doing so.
If you would like to find out more about baptism, would like to arrange a baptism or have specific questions please contact Tracey Rudge our Baptism Coordinator - [email protected] or phone 07880 490187
For babies and young children
When a child is baptized the parents thank God for the gift of life and make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and godparents promise to help and support the child and parents as they grow in faith. The Church also promises to welcome the child and to pray for the family. This service would take place in the Church.
For young children there is also the possibility of having a service of thanksgiving for the birth, rather than a baptism. This service celebrates the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During the Thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life. It can take place in church with the congregation, or with just family and friends gathered, or elsewhere such as home, or even in hospital. A Thanksgiving Service is not a Baptism. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith. The child will be blessed and prayed for, and supporting friends will promise to support the parents in bringing up their baby.
For adults or older children
When somebody over the age of 16 decides that they want to become a Christian and have not yet been baptized they will be prepared for this by a member of the Church ministry team. This will usually take the form of about five or so meetings (usually as part of a group exploring faith), where the Christian faith is explored more fully with the candidate. They will then make the baptismal promises of faith on their own behalf, rather than through a parent or godparent, though they may wish to have a sponsor who is someone of faith whom they admire. Usually when an adult or older child is baptised this will be combined with a service of confirmation by the bishop and a receiving first communion. Often adults will be encouraged to plan their baptism to coincide with the celebration of Easter as this is the time of the year when the Church celebrates the rite of baptism and the whole Church celebrates and refreshes their baptismal vows.
Not sure yet?
If you are wondering about Christianity, or even just what life is all about, we regularly host teaching and exploration sessions. These are open-ended and require no commitment to take things further, they are designed to help people explore faith and that is all. If you'd like to find out more, again, please contact Tracey, details as above.