Baptism (sometimes called Christening)
We are delighted to hear that you are considering baptism, either for yourself or your child. Please read the information below and contact us if you wish to discuss anything. Baptism is the action of publicly demonstrating that we have faith in Jesus Christ and have decided to follow him.
This can be done by teenagers and adults who wish to declare that they follow Jesus Christ. This faith is a free gift from God, which we say comes by God’s ‘grace’, in other words there is nothing we can do to earn faith.
In the Church of England, we believe it makes perfect sense that when parents are following Jesus Christ, they will want their children to be included in their Christian Faith, and to grow to know and love God themselves. Infants can therefore be baptised on the basis of their parents’ faith, on the understanding that the parents and Godparents nurture them to follow Jesus Christ as they grow up.
As a starting point, at St Mary’s we ask parents to bring their children to church for three Sundays, after which one of the ministry team will arrange a visit with you to discuss what is involved in the Baptism Service and to make arrangements if you are ready.
During the baptism service, parents and godparents promise to pray for the child, to set an example of Christian living and involvement in church life which the child can follow, to accompany the child on the Christian journey, to care for the child and to help them take their place in the life and worship of the Church.
There can be no doubt that there is a clear expectation here that parents will bring their children to church both before and after the baptism service, until they reach the age where they are able to make up their own minds. At this point it is our hope that they will wish to be Confirmed (see below) to demonstrate their intention to follow Christ throughout their life.
The service is also clear that at each step we have to trust God that he will cause their faith to grow, as parents, godparents and the church do all that we can to nurture that growth.
More information can be found on the Church of England website.
It is wonderful that you are considering being confirmed. We would love to help you in any way we can. Please contact the clergy.
Those who are baptised as teenagers or adults are also confirmed as part of the same process. Those who were baptised as children publicly express their own personal faith and their decision to follow Christ by being confirmed.
Confirmation is conducted by the Bishop and involves a public proclamation of faith, prayer for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and commissioning to serve Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you wish to be baptised as a teenager or adult, or to be confirmed, please contact us . You will be invited to our next Confirmation Course, at which you will have an opportunity to learn about the Christian Faith, and to consider whether you are ready to follow Jesus Christ.