What is baptism?
Baptism marks the beginning of a new life in Christ and in His community, the Church, but is also the beginning of a lifelong journey with God. To signify this, water is used to both “drown” our old life in sin and to show that we are reborn and raised up to a new life in the Spirit. We are washed clean and liberated. We are signed with the cross, our badge of faith reminding us that Christ died for us. As God calls us by name our Christian name is given and we are clothed in new clothes signifying that we are clothed in Christ and have been received and welcomed into His community. Finally we are given a lit candle as we have passed from darkness to light. We are indeed a New Creation.
Your child’s baptism
We are delighted that you are considering having your child baptised. Your child’s baptism is a very important occasion for the Church and for your family.
Baptisms at St Andrew’s usually take place within the main service at 10am and families must be prompt so they can be properly welcomed, but in certain circumstances it may be possible to a separate baptism service at 12pm on a Sunday or at a similar time on a Saturday.
We hope that it will be a happy and memorable time for all concerned, and like everything else important in life, your child’s baptism will require careful planning and preparation.
What to do when considering a baptism
The first thing you need to do if you considering baptism at St Andrew’s for you or your child is to contact the parish office or speak to the Vicar after a service. Either the Vicar or the Parish Administrator will ask you to fill out a form so that we have your contact details and can arrange for a meeting to take place. This meeting will be a chance to talk through the significance of baptism, but also an opportunity to plan and prepare for the occasion.
The Church believes that children need good role models and adults that they can trust and talk to. This is true in life and it is true in our journey of faith. When children are baptised they begin a journey, a journey which will need guides and companions on the way. Parents ordinarily have the responsibility of bringing up children, but may feel ill equipped to nurture them in the Christian faith. For this reason, godparents are those who are trusted and chosen to share the responsibility of parents in teaching and encouraging children in their new life in Christ.
Each child must have at least two godparents, one of each gender. Traditionally there are at least two godparents of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender. Godparents can be family members or friends. However it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child’s spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. They should be baptised themselves and mature enough to act as a godparent.
Of course, godparents must make every effort to come to the service, but in very extreme circumstances this is not possible and they may still be able to become a godparent.
Who can get baptised?
Anyone may be baptised, however it is usual to have your child baptised in the parish in which you live so that your child can be welcomed and grow in your local church family. However, if there are particular reasons why you would like to have the baptism at St Andrew’s (e.g. family links), it may be possible to arrange with the agreement of your own local minister.
Although it is most common to baptise children, adults are encouraged to consider baptism if they have not already been baptised. As an adult can make a commitment on their own behalf to become a full member of the Church community, it is expected that adults who wish to be baptised will join the Confirmation course and at the end be confirmed and baptised in one service by the Area Bishop.
What does baptism cost?
Baptism is a symbol of God’s love for us which is freely given so there is absolutely no charge for baptisms. All who are baptised receive a certificate and godparents receive cards from the church. Even if you move away from the area we love to stay in touch with those who were baptised here.
If you would like more information about baptism the following website pages are particularly helpful: