Here at St. James', we believe that in baptism, we thank God for the gift of a life and respond to the love that he has shown to us in Jesus. The Christian tradition is traced back to Jesus himself being baptised in the river Jordan. During the baptism service, the person being baptised declares their Christian belief and promises to follow Jesus as a disciple. In the Anglican Church, as well as baptising adults it is also common to baptise young children/babies.

Please click the different sections to find out more...

 

Many people are not baptised as babies. When someone decides that they love and trust Jesus and they want to follow him, they often decide themselves to get baptised as a way of declaring their faith publicly. Usually this happens after a journey of exploration, whether it's through normal attendance in church, going to a specific course or event for those exploring Christianity, or by coming to faith through numerous conversations with family, friends or someone in church! If you want to explore Christianity, or baptism, please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you! 

After an adult has been baptised, it is expected that they will continue to walk with Jesus and grow in their faith. We call this 'discipleship'. There are many ways to grow as a Christian, serving in church and belonging to a house group are just a few. At some point after baptism, an adult may wish to be confirmed. Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey where those who have been baptised make this firm commitment to Christian discipleship. Usually these confirmation ‘candidates’ are prepared together for this important step by discussing the Christian faith and the life of discipleship.

Many parents think it is a good idea to host a service to welcome their child into the world and the Church. We are always delighted when parents make contact with us to arrange this, and we want to do the best for both the parents and the child. Many parents think that the only service suitable for this type of event is a Baptism (Christening), but this is not the case. In fact, there are two services to choose from that we offer in these parishes. The two services available are…

A Thanksgiving Service  - In a thanksgiving service, there are no promises to make, unlike in a baptism service.  There is usually one session of preparation before the day. The good thing about this type of service is that it can be arranged relatively quickly. The service includes prayers for you and your child but no water. A Baptism (Christening) can always happen at a later date if you wish.

A Baptism Service (Christening) -  In a baptism service, there are important promises to make (and keep!) There are usually three preparation sessions before a date is arranged for the big day. Also, regular attendance at a church service or Messy Church is expected. The service includes water as well as prayers for you and your child.

If you do decide that a baptism is most appropriate for your child, there are important promises and declarations that you and the godparents will need to make...

Q: The baptism of its new members is an occasion of great joy for the Christian Church. By water and the Spirit, we are reborn as God’s children, and are made followers of Christ, members of his body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. Will you accept these things for your child?

A: We will.

Q: In asking for your child to be baptised, you are accepting the responsibility of brining him/her up as a Christian. In caring for him/her, will you help him/her to keep God’s commandments by loving God and neighbour as Christ has taught us? Will you pray for him/her, and draw him/her by your own example into the community of faith?

A: With the help of God, we will.

Q: Do you turn to Christ?   A: I turn to Christ.            

Q: Do you repent of your sins?   A: I repent of my sins.     

Q: Do you renounce evil? A: I renounce evil.

Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.

A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more.

Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:

  • Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
  • Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
  • Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
  • Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.

So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.

FAQ for Children's Baptism

Yes. The word ‘Christen’ means to admit some one as a Christian in baptism. Traditionally people tend to associate Christening with the baptism of infants.

Your local church is ideally situated for the baptism of your children. But there may be strong family associations with another church in another parish. You should contact us to talk this through first, so that we can help you in the best way possible.

Many of the promises and undertakings made by parents and Godparents at Baptism imply that you take seriously the promises you are making. It is important, therefore, to feel part of the local Christian community into which your child is being baptised.

There are no fees for Baptism. However, families often want to make a gift as a token of their thanksgiving and appreciation.

Most people have very special family or friends who they feel will serve well as Godparents. The Church requires that Godparents should be baptised Christians, and where possible, confirmed Church members. Once again, the promises imply that parents and Godparents are themselves baptised. Sometimes parents have not already been baptised. This may well prove a time for great thought and consideration in the life of a family. 

The local congregation will be happy to suggest Godparents from the Christian Community who will endeavour to stand by your child in their Christian life.

It is important that Baptism takes place after preparation and good planning. Baptism should be within the context of public worship so as to express that nature of belonging within the Christian Family. Details of the service will be discussed with you during and after preparation.

We will be very sensitive to your enquiry and will do all that they are able to assist, welcome and encourage you.

The Church is happy to welcome you and your child/children at a service of thanksgiving for their life. This, too, can take place in the context of public parish worship. It can be a celebration of their life and of your family love. In fact, if you feel that you cannot make the promises and commitments that baptism requires, we suggest  that a Thanksgiving is more appropriate.

The lower age for confirmation is decided upon by the Bishop of the Diocese. However, more and more tend to come to Confirmation at a later, rather than earlier stage. Confirmation at a later stage often expresses a greater commitment on the part of the individual to Christ.

There are compilations of prayers for children, stories from the Bible, crosses, and attractive posters, mobiles, amongst many other items. Please ensure that such a gift is followed up with encouragement in the new Christian life of the child. If you want to know where to look for gifts and material please speak with us. 

The Baptism of your child provides a wonderful opportunity for you to make a commitment and promise both for him/her and for yourselves. Please speak us! We will be pleased to help and assist you.