What is Baptism

Picture of baptism.The Church’s understanding has always been that baptism is an admission rite to the membership of the church family. An adult who chooses to be baptised makes the decision and promises shown below for themselves. However, when a child is baptised, the parents are making the decision on the child's behalf.

Therefore the Church requires at least one, and preferably both, parents to have a living and committed faith in Jesus Christ. In addition, one of the parents, preferably both, should be a “confirmed” or communicant member of the church ... or wanting to be confirmed. This shows that the parent is a full member of the church family. 

Why is this required?

Since 1998 a new Baptism service has been authorized. It asks parents and Godparents who bring children to baptism these questions. 

“Will you pray for them, and draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? 

“Will you help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?”

In order to be able to make these promises to God, and on behalf of your child, the Christian faith requires that you subscribe to the creed. This sets out the “basics” of what Christians believe. One version of the Creed is set out below:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting.  Amen.

If you feel that you can make these promises to God and also make a profession of the Christian faith, as set out here, on behalf of your child, then baptism is the right decision.

Church attendance

If you choose to have your child baptised, the church would expect you to attend at least 6 services during the 6 months before the baptism service. 

Why is this necessary?

A baptism service performs two important functions. Firstly, the service is one at which a person publicly says (or is said on their behalf) that they want to join the church family. Secondly, the church formally welcomes the new member into the family.  Therefore, attending church before and after baptism is a sign that a person wants to be a part of the Christian community. Finally, attending your local church offers an opportunity to meet the “new” family, and to consider whether one wants to be part of it or not.  

The local churches all offer a variety of services formal, informal and family ones. They offer a warm welcome and would love you to join, if you feel it is right. 

If you have any questions please contact the Rector.

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