Baptisms

Arranging a Baptism

Baptism of Children

Baptism is a rite of the church where parents and God parents promise to bring their child up in the Christian faith. It is a moment of decision, where parents and God parents affirm the direction and destination they would like their child to travel towards - a growing faith in the God revealed in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

The baptism service is structured around three symbols: First the cross, the sign that Jesus sacrificed himself for us, and sets us free from sin and death when we put our faith in him. Second, water, the sign of Gods life-giving power, which cleanses and renews our lives. Third, a lit candle, representing Jesus Christ as the light of our lives - a light that could not be extinguished, proven by the resurrection.

 

                               

There are several special moments in the service:

  • The Vicar will pray for your child and for all those who will support their path of faith.
  • You and the godparents will make some important promises for your child in the service. You can see these words online at http://churchofenglandchristenings.org/service
  • A special oil, blessed by the bishop, may be used to make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is a significant moment, which marks your child as belonging to God.
  • Water, which is blessed in the church's font, will be poured over your child's head by the Vicar. This is the moment of baptism.
  • Everyone promises to continue supporting your child from this moment.
  • A candle will be given to you in the service when the Vicar says, "Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God."

You will be invited to come to church, and to meet with others to talk about the baptism and what it means for the whole family and talk about what will happen in the service. See what the church offers for the time leading up to the baptism: http://churchofenglandchristenings.org

 

                             

Godparents

In the service, the godparents make promises to share the amazing journey of the Christian faith, to pray for your child and to show them ways to grow in faith and love.

Because of the special role they have in supporting your child's faith journey, godparents must have been baptised themselves.

Other options

If you feel that you are not ready to make the public commitment of faith entailed in baptising your child, you are welcome to come to us for a service of "Thanksgiving for the birth of a child". This creates an opportunity for affirming the wonder of new life and giving thanks to God for the gift of a child. We normally include these prayers as part of our monthly "All Age" Services. These take place on the first Sunday of each month at St Luke's Church (11 am), on the second Sunday at St Johns Church (11 am) and on the third Sunday at Whitechapel (9.30 am).

If you feel comfortable with making a public commmitment of Christian faith, but think that many of your family and friends would struggle with a full one hour service with hymns, we would suggest you arrange to come to a Short Baptism Service. These usually take place after the monthly All Age Service at 12.30 am (which means the first Sunday of each month at St Luke's Church, on the second Sunday at St John's Church and on the third Sunday at Whitechapel).

However, if you and your family enjoy attending a Communion service, we would be very happy for your child to be baptised within a Sunday morning service of Baptism with Holy Communion. The baptism is the focus of the first part of the service, followed by the celebration of the communion. Everyone who attends will be encouraged to join in with the communion, either by consuming the Eucharistic bread and wine, or by coming forwards for a blessing.

So as you decide which sort of service you would prefer, we ask that you give some thought to the feelings of your guests as well as of the regular congregation in order to decide which option is the most appropriate for you. 

 

                             

                                                

Each church has a representative who can be contacted if you wish to arrange baptism for your child.

At St Luke's Church it is Angela Fairbotham (01274 877282) or angelafairbotham@btinternet

At St John's Church it is Annette Smith (01274 861158) or annettesmith@hotmail.com

At Whitechapel it is Pam Hutchinson (01274 876059) or pthutch@sky.com