Jesus commanded his followers to baptise all people who believed in him (Matthew 28:20). Baptism is therefore the service of initiation into the Christian faith and membership of Christ’s worldwide community, the Church. Baptism is an outward and physical sign of the wonderful change that takes place inwardly and spiritually when we believe in, and turn to, Jesus Christ in faith.
So, baptism is:
- the public expression of our decision to believe in and follow Jesus Christ in our daily lives
- the key sign of God’s grace to us, confirming the free gift of his love, forgiveness and eternal life
- the seal on our incorporation into the gathered people of God – the Church
The Anglican Church believes that the children of believing parents share all these gifts of God’s love for his people and so baptise infants as well as adults. As parents, you then make the baptismal decision and promises of faith on behalf of your child, until they are of an age to make those declarations of faith themselves, in a service of confirmation. Adults can be baptised and confirmed in the same service.
If you would like to be baptised or confirmed, or have your child baptised/christened (or consider the option of a thanksgiving service for the birth of a child – see below), come and join us for worship on a Sunday morning. After the service, please introduce yourself to one of the clergy. They will talk to you and give you a Baptism Pack which contains all the relevant information.
Following your initial contact, a person on our baptism visiting team will arrange to meet with you to go through the meaning and implications of Christian Baptism. Parents seeking baptism for their child must themselves be baptised. Only after this meeting will a date be decided for the baptism service. We’ll do what we can to find a date that will work for all involved. However, due to certain constraints – dates of baptismal services, number of baptisms possible in one service, etc. – it may not always be possible to provide your first choice.
As an alternative to baptism, the Anglican Church also offers a service of “Thanksgiving for the gift of a child.” Some parents want to delay baptism until their children are able to chose baptism for themselves and experience it as a young adult, and some parents may not feel able to make all the baptismal promises and declarations of faith but still want to give expression to their gratitude and joy at the birth of a child and ask for God’s blessing on that new life and new family relationships. The “Thanksgiving Service for the Birth of a Child” does this and can be viewed here.
Do join us for worship on a Sunday and feel free to ask any questions you may have.