Baptism is a happy and special event, usually the first ‘formal’ event in a child’s life and it provides an opportunity for all the family, relatives, and friends to come together. We are pleased to be able to share it with you. We have found that people celebrating baptism at our church enjoy the service.
We hope that your child’s baptism will be a wonderful and memorable occasion and that it will mark the beginning of a long and happy association with our church. This information will help you with some of the questions which surround baptism or Christening (Christian-making) as some prefer to call it. We do not put pressure upon parents or make them feel guilty about coming to church, but sometimes a baptism can remind us of how much we have let our own Christian life slip. It can be an opportunity to affirm our trust in God and to make a fresh start.
We hope that the welcome you receive will encourage you to feel a part of our church. We understand the effort involved for parents with young children to get organized and make a habit of going to church but parents who do are usually pleased that they took the trouble. We welcome even noisy children to our services and encourage parents to walk in and out during the service.
It is our sincere belief that there is no better thing that you can give to a child than the opportunity to learn about God and his love for them. In the early years of a child’s life they need to have this grounding of faith which will be vital for them if they are to develop into happy and balanced adults. It is a great sadness that this opportunity is not made available to so many children but we will work with you to enable your child to be welcomed into the family of the church.
Will you Christen our baby?
This is a question which we are often asked and the answer is YES! We have never refused a request for baptism. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to celebrate this important occasion. With you we will thank God for the birth of your baby, name the child with its Christian name and welcome a new member into the Christian family of the Church. Of course if you are an adult who was not baptized as a child then we hope that baptism may be something which you would like to consider for yourself. You will not be placed in any embarrassing situations, we will not make you feel guilty about coming to church, but we do encourage you to start thinking of this as your church. This booklet will give you answers to some of the questions which you may have.
What is Baptism?
A chance for all the family to get together, celebrate and thank God for the new life which he has given. It is a time when we remember that as well as being a member of a human family your baby is a part of God’s family too, the family of the Church. It is sacrament, that means an outward and visible sign of God’s love. When Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan he became aware of God as his Father and felt the special presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, it was a turning point in his life. After his death and resurrection Jesus commanded his followers to make new disciples and baptise them too. This has been done ever since by Christians throughout the world.
Why do we baptise babies?
Most parents feel a need to say ‘thank you’ to someone for the wonderful gift of their child, that ‘someone’ is of course the God who gives life to us all. Jesus told his disciples to baptise people who wanted to become Christians and join the church. The Bible tells us that whole households were being baptised and of course soon parents wanted their children to be baptised too. Baptism is not like an insurance policy which you take out to make sure that your baby goes to heaven, God loves your child just as much now as after the baptism service. However it does make sense to give your child the very best start in life and what could be better than to encourage them from the very earliest days to be open to God and to know of His love for them. We are pleased that you have decided to give your child the benefit of being welcomed into the church family, now please take the effort to bring them along to church throughout these early years so that they can have the Christian start that they deserve.
When will the baptism take place?
Baptisms can take place in the main Sunday Morning Service at church, because part of the service is the welcoming of the child by the congregation. However, most parents feel more comfortable for their child’s baptism to take place at 12.15m on Sundays in a more informal setting. A baptism is never a private service and there will often be more than one child being baptised during the same service.
A permanent record of the baptism with family details is recorded in the official registers of the church. A Baptism certificate is given which the church has printed, as a reminder of this day.
You will need to consider names of godparents and these will be included in the church register. Being asked to be a godparent is always a real privilege and shows that you have a special place in the family, but there are expectations and responsibilities too. You are asked to promise that you will love and encourage the child in the Christian faith by prayer, example and teaching. Parents should not feel pressurised to choose the wrong people but try to find people who can make the promises and mean them. You should have a minimum of three godparents; but you can have as many as you wish. Godparents often buy a small present for the child; they should remember that this is a Christian occasion and so perhaps buy the child a children’s Bible or story book of Bible stories. Godparents must be baptized.
Did you know ?
Superstitious people once thought that when a baby cried at Baptism it meant that it was the devil being cast out. In fact if a baby didn’t cry it was thought a bad thing and some people even pinched their children to make them cry! Today we prefer not to upset children and hope that they do not get too upset by all the attention. However don’t worry if they do cry.
There is no charge for a baptism service, however we do have a collection at the service and we hope you may wish to make a donation.
Because Baptism is a sign of entering the Church the font which held the water was once nearly always situated at the main door of the church.
We allow photographs and videos in church during the service
If you have any questions please contact the Rector – Fr Stuart Tanswell 244088 email firstname.lastname@example.org
As a part of keeping the promises you make on behalf of your child at their Baptism you may wish to enrol him/her in our Sunday School. The Treasure Seekers meet every Sunday in the Billie & Norman Leslie Rooms in the grounds of the Rectory at 10.15am. Further details about the Sunday School can be obtained from email@example.com
For further reading and information you may find the following excellent website useful: