Baptism (also known as Christening, that is being made one with Christ)) is the ancient practice of the church whereby children and adults become members. It is a sacrament, or special sign of God’s love.
We welcome all parents who bring children for baptism, though if you do not live in the parish you need to be a regular worshipper at church services in Burham and Wouldham or have a very close connection with the parish.
Baptisms take place, after suitable preparation, on Sundays during the 10.30 Eucharist.
In Baptism the parents and godparents make promises about trusting God, on behalf of the child. Then the priest pours water over the child’s head. The water symbolises the grace of God which is always there for us to wash away our weaknesses and failings (or ‘sins’) and to enable us to be forgiven and accepted at all times in our lives. Then the sign of the cross is made on the child’s forehead, with oil blessed by the Bishop of Rochester in the cathedral the previous Easter, to symbolise protection and the unity of the church.
Parents and Godparents make promises about belief and trust in God, about their values, and about promising to bring up their child in the Christian faith. The child then has the opportunity to experience what this involves. When a child is older they can then, if they wish, make these promises for themselves again, and we call this Confirmation.
Children are welcome at all services.
For adults who have never been baptised we offer a course of preparation called the Pilgrim Course, after which they may be baptised and confirmed.
Baptism enquiries should be made to Mrs. Gwen Worcester 01634 672060 or 07854 400506. Gwen will discuss choices of dates, and we will then ask you to attend on the next convenient Sunday to welcome your child into the church family and experience worship in the church prior to the baptism. At this point we will give you the paperwork and confirm baptism date.