Baptism and Christening
In Baptism or Christening, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church it is common to baptise young children.
What is Baptism
Baptism is a 'sacrament' (which is an outward sign of an inner reality) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the River Jordan. When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You will be asked to answer, on your child's behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ. The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of members of the church congregation which promises to support you and pray for you and your child.
Booking a Baptism
Parent should contact our Families & Children’s Worker, Joanna Browning on 07741 479657 or email. She will then arrange to visit the parents and explain about the preparations involved and talk about the service. There is some preparation for a baptism, including attending some of the different services at the church, after which, the date for the baptism can be confirmed.
We give you a choice of either Sunday morning at 11:45 am or during the 10.00 am service on Sundays which is adapted so that the service lasts about an hour. The 11:45 am service lasts about half- an-hour and parents are invited to choose a reading. Sadly we do not have a resident organist so we cannot offer hymn choices but the readings help to make the service more personal. In a busy parish like ours, baptism services at the 11.45 am service usually have more than one child being baptised, but we ensure that there are no more than two families at any one baptism. When the date of the baptism is fixed then Joanna will see you to go through the service and answer any questions that you might have. Joanna will usually be at the service and gives out the Baptism Candle.
At the service
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:
- The sign of the cross - the priest will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
- Water - the priest will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God. Water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are baptized, it is as though our old life is buried in the waters and we are raised to new life with Christ.
- Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. A large candle is lit in the church and you will be given a lighted candle towards the end of the service as a reminder of the light that has come into your child's life.