We often get calls from new parents who are thrilled with God’s wonderful gift to them and want to mark their gratitude to God in church. If that’s you, then first of all, many congratulations!
How are you sleeping?
Anyone living within our parish may have their child baptised in one of our churches.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a formal welcome into church membership. 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.
When does it take place?
Baptisms take place in the main Sunday service at either the Church of the Good Shepherd or St Nicholas’ usually on the third Sunday in a month. 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 baptism service
The baptism service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way:
- 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.
- 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 baptised, it is as though our old life is buried in the waters (like drowning) and we are raised to new life with Christ.
- Jesus is the Light of the World. A large candle will be lit in the church and you will be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child's life.
How do I arrange a baptism?
Parents wishing to explore baptism should first contact Carol Sandys in the Parish Office on a Wednesday morning or a Friday afternoon on 01932 346345, or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help to guide you through the processes.
The role of Godparents
Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.
You should have at least three godparents: normally two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex. Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. Godparents must themselves be baptised.
We also offer adult baptism to those who are joining or already belong to the church community.