Baptism can happen at any age. In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. A baptism also marks the decision to start yourself or your child on the journey of faith which involves turning away from all that is ungodly and turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
When we baptise babies and young children, it is the parents and god-parents who make promises on behalf of their children.
Baptism is a 'sacrament' (holy ritual to symbolise grace) in the Christian tradition that is traced back in the pages of the Bible to Jesus himself being baptised in the river Jordan.
In Baptism we use three symbols:- water is used as a symbolic washing away of the old and the new birth into the family of God; oil is a symbol of belonging to Christ; and a candle is given as a sign of the light of Christ in the life of the newly-baptised person.
You can have a baptism at St John's Church if you live within the parish boundary (see www.achurchnearyou.com to find out) or if you worship in the church, or if you have another personal reason (maybe this was the church you were married in) But in this case you will need permission from your local parish priest.
Sometimes people feel they are not quite ready to accept all that the Christian faith means but they would still like to mark the birth of their child. If that is the case we offer a thanksgiving ceremony. Here people can offer thanks for the gift of their child and ask for God's blessing. If this is what you would like please come and speak to us.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey where those who have been baptised as children make a firm commitment for themselves to Christian discipleship. Through prayer and the laying on of hands by a Bishop, the Church also asks God to give those being confirmed power, through the Holy Spirit, to live the life of discipleship.