Baptism is more than a simple service of naming and blessing. It involves parents and God-parents making promises to bring up their child within the community of faith, as members of the Church. These are the promises parents and God-parents make during the service.
· pray for them,
· draw them by your example into the community of faith and
· walk with them in the way of Christ?
· care for them, and
· help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?
We have discovered that many people wanted to bring their children to Church and have them blessed, but were unsure about the commitment to church membership. We do not want to ask people to make promises that they don’t want to, or will be unable to keep.
So we now ask all those asking for Baptism for their children to first have a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This does what it says on the can and is a service of thanksgiving and blessing, but no promises about Christian faith are expected or made. For some, this service will meet their needs as it is very flexible and can be done formally or informally, at a mutually convenient time either on a Sunday or on some other day.
For others however the service of Thanksgiving will only be a preliminary, and they will still want to go on and make those commitments to bring their children up within the community of faith through the full service of Baptism, and we would be delighted for this to happen.
In order to better understand the promises in the Baptism service we ask that parents and their children attend church at least three times in the two months leading up to the Baptism, so as to get to know the community of faith into which their child is going to be baptised. We also ask parents to attend two introductory sessions where we will explore the meaning of Baptism for your child and your family.
The service of Baptism would then normally take place on a Sunday at our main Sunday service (with the rest of the community of faith present, alongside your family and friends) though in exceptional circumstances alternative arrangements can be made.
We are also more than happy to baptise adults. Please speak to the clergy for further details.