Baptism (Sometimes called Christening)
We welcome requests for the baptism of babies, children and adults. Baptisms usually take place during one of our services. Baptism, whether of a baby, a child or an adult, initiates a lifelong journey with God. We all have many steps to take on the journey of life, and baptism is the first step where we respond to the love which God shows us. We believe it to be a joyful moment for all participants in the service; not only for the candidates, the parents and the godparents but also friends and relatives invited to witness the baptism.
Many Christian symbols are used in a baptism. We are baptised with the sign of the cross, which we are proud to wear as our badge of faith in Jesus Christ, and reminds us that He died on the cross for us. We are drowned in the water. Our drowning symbolizes that we die in sin, and are raised to a new life, just as Jesus died and rose again. Water is a symbol of new life, as Jesus was born again by being baptised with water. We also describe Jesus as being the light of the world who conquered the darkness of evil. A lighted candle is used to remind us that we will be walking in the light with Jesus for the rest of our lives.
Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
We also welcome requests by parents who wish to celebrate the gift of a child, or children, but do not want to commit to a baptism, for whatever reason, either in the future or at all.
This service is provided for a number of different occasions:
for private celebration of a birth or adoption, at home or in church with only family and close friends present;
for public celebration of the birth or adoption of a child or a number of children, possibly in church on a Sunday afternoon;
for public celebration of the birth or adoption of a child or a number of children in church during a Sunday act of worship.
It is designed to meet the needs of:
parents who see this as a preliminary to baptism;
parents who do not wish their children to be baptised immediately;
others, who are not seeking baptism, but who acknowledge that something special has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God.
It is natural that we wish to celebrate the birth or adoption of a child. The creation of a new life, or the bringing of a new life into a family, can move us to a feeling of awe and a strong desire to express our thanks to God. If you wish to talk to someone about a baptism, or a thanksgiving service, then please contact Fr John by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to find out more about a church baptism, then click to access the Church of England website.