What is baptism?
Baptism (sometimes called Christening) marks the first step of a life-long journey with God. Becoming a Christian and getting baptised is our response to the love that God has shown to us. Baptism is a joyful moment, both for the person getting baptised, as well as parents, godparents, family and friends, as we rejoice together in what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Baptism is also a serious occasion when promises are made and our faith is declared.
Depending on the age of the person being baptised, these promises and declarations may be made by parents and godparents on their behalf. Some people don’t feel that they can make these promises and declarations with integrity – that’s ok! We certainly don’t want to force anybody to say or do things they don’t feel comfortable about. However we recognise that even when a family doesn’t feel able to make the baptism promises, they might still want to celebrate and give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of a new life. In these situations we also offer a Thanksgiving Service. A Thanksgiving Service is a great way to mark the wonder of a new life in the family and we’d be more than happy to talk about this with you.
What happens during a baptism service?
During the a baptism service, different symbols are used to paint a picture of what happens on the Christian journey. First, a sign of the cross is made on the forehead of the person who is to be baptised. The cross is a symbol which lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It reminds us of Jesus death, when he paid the price for all the wrong things we do. When someone is baptised we use water, which speaks to us of being ‘washed clean’ and the good news that our sins – the wrong things we do – have been forgiven. Once someone has been baptised they are given a lighted candle, which reminds us that Jesus brings light in the dark places of the world, and that as followers of Jesus, all those who have been baptised are to shine and bring light to the world around us. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity for us all to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress we have made on our journey with God, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
Who can be godparents?
Godparents are people who promise to help the parents in the task of bringing up a child in the Christian faith. They commit to praying for the child, and to helping the child grow as a Christian through their teaching and support, as well as through the example they set with their own lives. Godparents must be 16 or older, and must have been baptised themselves.
When can we have a baptism service?
Baptism is a sign of becoming part of the church family, therefore baptisms at Christ Church often take place during one of our Sunday morning services when the whole church family is gathered together. Sometimes it can be arranged for them to take place a little later on Sundays at 1.00pm.
What does it cost?
Baptisms are free!! Baptism is about joining the family of the church – there is no financial cost. You may want to make a donation to the ongoing work of the church, but that is entirely up to you.
How do we arrange a baptism?
The next step in arranging a baptism is to come along to church on a Sunday morning and have a conversation with Revd Phil.