Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.' (John 10.10)
Baptism 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. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
The service paints many vivid pictures 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. Our ‘drowning' in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ's dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus' baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptized walks in that light for the rest of their lives.
If you are seeking baptism, either for yourself or your child, then the first step is to contact the deanery office, in order to book a time.
Deanery Office (open 10-1, Mon- Fri) 01507 610 247
There is no charge for baptism: God's grace is freely given! But remember that the promises made, by the candidate or by parents and Godparents who speak for them, are solemn vows made before God - just like in a wedding - and should be honoured as such. A parent or Godparent is charged with the sacred duty of bringing up the child in the faith of the Church. To help you to understand and keep these promises, and to take you through the order of service and answer any questions, the priest taking the service will arrange to meet with you beforehand (usually in Church).
It is particularly good if Godparents can make it to that meeting. Care should be taken over the choosing of Godparents. They are making very specific promises to nurture the Christian faith of the child. It is therefore a requirement that they have been baptised themselves, and preferably confirmed also.