The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of the church congregation. The Christian community will promise to support you and to pray for you and your child.

 

It might be that you cannot, in good conscience, make the promise to bring your child to church regularly and are concerned by the promises you will make. If this is the case you might like to consider having a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. In this service you give thanks to God for the gift of your child and your child is blessed. However you do not make the same promises as in the Baptism service.

 

If you choose to have a Thanksgiving Service, you can have a Baptism service for your child at a later date.

 

For more information and to discuss baptism and thanksgiving services, please contact the church office.

Baptism is also known as  “Christening” which means, “making Christian” and is associated with name giving. The word Baptism is more widely used now as it describes what happens.

 

Baptism for you  and your child is a special day, probably the first formal occasion in his or her life and is an opportunity for celebrating. But the service of Baptism is  much more than just a celebration; it is about your child’s relationship with God. Your child is already a member of your family, now he or she is welcomed into another family, the worldwide family of God’s Church. It is an occasion to give thanks for your child and all the blessings through Baptism.

In baptism, you as parents are:

Thanking God for your child’s gift of life, starting your child on their journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.

 

For your child, baptism:

Marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centeredness, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

Baptism is a  ‘Sacrament’: a visible sign of God's love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love.  We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.

 

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. This includes bringing you child to church regularly so that they can meet their church family.

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 to turn instead towards Christ.

Baptisms take place during the main Sunday service at which the priest is present. This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership. In turn, the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child.

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 our old life is buried in the waters (like drowning) and we are raised to new life with Christ.

 

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