Start Life’s Journey with God.
Baptism for infants and children
We welcome enquiries about the sacrament of baptism (also known as christening) of babies and children in one of our 7 parish churches. Baptism is a commitment by parents to bring up their child in the Christian faith supported by godparents and the local Christian community. As baptism signifies entry into the Church family it is normally held during a Sunday church service. Please feel free to contact our Rector Revd Adrian Watkins if you wish to explore having your child baptised and in this way have him or her begin an amazing journey of faith with God. You can read more about Christening services here .
Sometimes parents are not sure about making the promises involved in baptism or may wish for their child to make their own decision at an older age. At the same time parents may wish to give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of a new life for them to care for and nurture and to dedicate their child to God. If this is so we would be delighted to offer special prayers in one of our Sunday services. This is both appropriate for a new baby and also if you have adopted a child into your family and you simply want to celebrate this in church.
Perhaps you have never been baptised / christened, but you are thinking about your personal journey of faith and your relationship to God. If so you may want to explore being baptised now.
What is baptism?
Baptism is a public response to God’s love revealed to us through Jesus Christ and to which the Bible bears witness. It expresses a desire and a commitment to respond to God’s call on our lives and to follow Jesus Christ while belonging to the community of those who profess faith in him – known as the church. It is also a time of celebration, a time to come together with family and friends and to give thanks for God’s wonderful love.
The baptism service
The baptism service is very similar to the Christening service for a child. However, as you make the decision and the promises yourself, there is no role for parents or godparents as they make the decisions and promises on behalf of a child. But you could ask Christian friends to act as “sponsors”; which can be anyone who wishes to support and encourage you in your Christian faith. Baptism in our churches is normally by having water from the font poured or wiped on your head, though baptism by full immersion may also be possible.
If you are interested, you can find the Service of Holy Baptism in full just here. You are referred to as a ‘candidate’ throughout the service. All the parts which refer to a child, parents and godparents aren’t included when an adult is being baptised.
If you want to have a chat about being baptised (without any obligation to proceed) and how we can help you prepare for this, please contact our Revd Adrian Watkins or Revd Ginny Manning. Contact details can be found on the Who’s who page!
And of course, while making a decision about the baptism, you might want to think about being confirmed – and often the two can take place together. So, why not have a look on this page, where you can read more about confirmation: https://www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/confirmation.aspx