What is baptism?
Baptism, traditionally known as Christening, marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives - the first step in response to God’s love. Whether we come to baptism as adults or as children the baptism service provides us with a way in which we become full members of God’s church.
Why baptise a child?
Because the parent(s) want their child in due course to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to receive a new life; to find forgiveness in the Lord Jesus. For this to happen, baptised children need to receive a Christian upbringing. A child needs both to be taught about Jesus and to see what Christian faith means in action—especially in his/her parents’ and godparents’ lives.
What happens before the service?
Before the baptism service we encourage all families to have a Thanksgiving service for their child. This is a simple (and short!) act of thanksgiving where the parent(s) can express their thanks to God for the gift of their child and be assured of the church’s support in the bringing up of their children. One of the ministers of the church will visit you and explain this first step. The Thanksgiving service usually happens in one of the main services on a Sunday.
At this point some parents decide that a Thanksgiving service is enough while others will wish to pursue Baptism and all that it involves. Whatever you decide the minister will help you at each stage in the journey. Once a decision has been made to go on to the next step of baptism for your child a meeting is arranged with the minister to discuss what is involved.
What happens in the service?
Our life of faith is a journey with God and one that we share with others. In baptism we turn away from all that prevents us from having good relationships with God, other people and the world God made. Parents and godparents also make serious promises to turn towards following in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
In the service itself many vivid pictures are painted of what happens on the Christian way:
· There is the sign of the cross (the badge of faith in the Christian journey) which reminds us of Christ’s death for us.
· Promises are made to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
· There is the water of baptism. In these waters we believe we die to sin (those things which hurt God and those around us) and are raised to new life. Water is used as it symbolises washing with water — but this is a spiritual cleansing! Water is also a sign of new life.
· The child may receive a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness around us.
· The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future.
Baptism is a new birth to a new life; life with the Holy Spirit of Jesus living in us.
What do we do next?
If you decide that Baptism and a Thanksgiving is what you would like, then we would suggest coming along to one of our services to see what life at Holy Trinity looks like. You can then speak to the person taking the service to talk about making an appointment to see the minister who will take the service.
Or you can contact the office and make an appointment to see the minster who will take the service. This is an informal meeting either at your home or here at the church where someone will talk you through what the service is about and what it means for you and your family. If Godparents are available to attend, they would also be welcome. This is also the time to talk about what dates will work for you and which service you would like the service to take place .
If you decide you would still like your child baptised after the Thanksgiving service one of the ministers will be in contact to talk more specifically about baptism as well as setting a date.
If you are an adult who would like to be baptised, please speak to the minister or contact the church office.
Articles in this group
Contact form for Child's Baptism
Let us know if you would like a thanksgiving/baptism service for your child(ren) (Author: )
Weddings and Baptisms
Information about weddings and baptisms at Holy Trinity (Author: )
Information about how to get married at Holy Trinity. (Author: )