We are very pleased to welcome young people into the family of the church and so baptisms normally take place at the Family Service on the first Sunday of alternate months. When we have more families to accommodate, however, we can sometimes offer baptism services after the main morning services.
So what is baptism?
There are two main aspects to baptism:
We all need God’s forgiveness, and baptism speaks to us of washing or cleansing.
Our forgiveness cost Jesus his life. God offers us a new life as we turn to him. So in baptism, we ask for God’s forgiveness and start a new life with him.
Why baptise a child?
Christian parents want their children to receive that forgiveness and new life – it’s the most precious gift anyone can receive! By their example, they encourage their children to grow up as Christians.
This will involve a number of things:
- – Going to church as a family
- – Living your life by God’s standards.
- – Praying and reading the Bible together.
- – Following Christ and growing together.
This may mean some adjustments within family life, but we are all prepared to make certain sacrifices so that our children can have the best.
The elements of the service:
Christians describe baptism as a sacrament – this means an outward and visible sign of God’s love. The actions that we take with the water and candles are signs of God’s own gracious initiative in bringing about new life in the heart of the one being baptised, in response to the faith expressed by the parents and Godparents on behalf of the child.
The water ….
Water is an important sign of life, both in a physical and spiritual way. Just as we cannot live without water to drink, so we cannot live eternally without the cleansing and renewing love of God. The water of baptism symbolises being washed clean by God. The Bible links this with the imagery of dying, in the waters of baptism, to the old life and being raised to a new life, with Christ.
The sign of the cross…..
During the service the minister will make the sign of a cross on the forehead of your child. The signing on the forehead is like a badge and reminds us that as Christians we must not be ashamed to profess our faith and must fight against all that is evil in this world.
The candle …..
At the end of the service, the newly baptised are sent out with a lighted candle, as a sign of the Church’s commitment to mission: `Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.
What do we do next?
If you are considering having your child baptised then please download the form below and send it to Mary Lee (Holy Trinity) – email@example.com or David Carter (St Margaret’s) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to download the baptism application form:
See our Church of England website at www.churchofenglandchristenings.org for more useful information