St Mary's and St John's Churches

stjohns outside outsideview

Baptism

If you would like to arrange a baptism at either of the two churches please contact the parish adminstrator.  Generally baptism is conducted in a normal Sunday service rather than as a stand alone service at another time.

 

Baptism (or Christening) is when a person makes a public commitment to their Christian faith.

 

There is powerful symbolism in the act of baptism. The person passes through the water of death, showing that their old life apart from God has died, and is raised to new life. This reflects the death and ressurection of Christ. Indeed, before the existence of fonts, people were physically submerged in rivers and then lifted up. In the same way that the sins of the world were redeemed through Christ's death and ressurection, so too are the person's sins, as they enter in to their new life as part of their own church family and the worldwide Christian family.

 

Baptising children and infants

Parents have brought children and infants for baptism since the early days of the Church. It is a way of expressing their love and thanks for their child, declaring their commitment to raise them as a Christian, and welcoming them in to the church as they begin their journey of faith. The difference from adult baptism is that parents and Godparents (or sponsors) make the declarations on behalf of the child who is too young to understand.

 

These declarations state a commitment to bring their children up within a Christian family, to bring them to church regularly, and to teach and encourage them in their faith journey. This will lead to them bringing the child for confirmation when they are old enough, so that they themselves can 'confirm' the declarations made on their behalf at baptism.

 

Some parents may not feel quite ready to make these declarations, or wish to wait until the child is older, but still want to celebrate and give thanks for their child's birth. Many churches including ours offer services of thanksgiving which offers this alternative.

 

Baptising adults

Adults have also been baptised since the early days of the church, as a symbol of their new life as a follower of Christ. It usually follows a period of preparation where they learn about Christian faith and how that translates in to everyday life.