Baptism is the start of the Christian journey, as we turn to Christ and join his Church.
Baptism is joining the Christian family. It is how one becomes a Christian, a member of the Body of Christ. Baptism is a Sacrament – an outward sign that conveys an inward grace. It is a simple ritual using water, oil and a form of words and is usually done at the Eucharist on Sunday. All are invited to be baptised; it is preceded by finding out more about the Christian faith.
We baptise babies and children as well as adults because God’s love is for all and not dependent on our intellectual ability or knowledge. All the baptised, including children, are invited to receive the body and blood of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine of Holy Communion. Why we do this is explained in the article Holy Communion for babies, or what it means to be human.
The Rector welcomes enquiries about baptisms (christenings). Contact [email protected] for more information.
The Baptism Service
The Baptism service begins by asking the candidates if they accept God’s call and desire to be baptised. They then renounce evil and turn to Christ, after which they make a public commitment to Christian faith and life – in the case of infants, these commitments are made by the parents and sponsors.
The Apostles’ Creed
Do you believe in God the Father? I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in God the Son? I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Commitment to Christian Life
As a disciple of Christ, will you continue in the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers? With the help of God, I will.
Will you proclaim the good news by word and deed, serving Christ in all people? With the help of God, I will.
Will you work for justice and peace, honouring God in all Creation? With the help of God, I will.
After this, the water in the font is blessed and the candidate is baptised by being immersed in the water or having it poured on their head, while these words are said:
N, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then the candidate is anointed on the head with the oil of chrism, consecrated by the Bishop before Easter each year at the Chrism Mass, and the priest lays hands on the candidate’s head praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit. This is ‘chrismation’ or ‘confirmation’.
N, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.
May the Spirit of God be in you, wisdom and understanding keep you, the power of God encircle you, and God’s truth lead you into freedom. Amen.
Finally, the newly baptised is given a lighted candle and welcomed into the community. This is followed by receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time.
No fee is charged for baptisms but we do accept donations.