BAPTISM & CONFIRMATION
Baptism is initiation into the church and we have regular baptism services which usually take place with the context of one of our regular weekend services. It is a reminder of the amazing truth that God loves us, that God adopts us as his own son or daughter, and that God desires that we live our lives under his blessing. Baptism is be celebrated with family and friends, as well as the church as a whole. At baptism, we are welcomed into God’s family. The service of baptism and the symbols contained in it are reminders of our place in God’s family. These symbols are reminders of what God is doing as the baptism is taking place.
We love baptisms because they remind us that God's love is continually being renewed in our midst. We love baptisms because we are honoured to be the community of faith into which people choose to be baptised, or into which they choose to have their child baptised. Most of all, we love baptisms because it provides us with the opportunity to welcome people into our midst… people who may be living lives of great faith, people who may struggling with questions of faith, or people who may be grappling with what they believe.
Our parish takes its obligations to young families very seriously. As well as our various ministries to children, we provide a time before the baptism in which we can get to know the families of those being baptised, and in which they can get to know us.
If you are interested in baptism for yourself, or for your child, we would love to talk with you about it. Please contact the parish clergy so that we can arrange a time to meet with you.
What are Godparents for?
The role of a Godparent is to speak on your child’s behalf at the baptism, and to support the child as they grow in God’s family. Godparents should be baptised adults. It is usual to have three godparents: two of the same gender as the child, and one of the opposite gender.
When do baptisms happen?
Baptisms usually happen either during the Choral Eucharist at 9:00am on Sunday, or at our 'Families @ 5:30' service at 5.30 pm on a Saturday evening. We do not charge a fee for baptisms. Families often like to make an offering in thanksgiving for the baptism, which is used to support the ministry of our church.
Is baptism like a naming ceremony?
No. You have already given your child a name after they were born. Baptism is about your child’s place in God’s family. The priest will talk about those options with you.
SYMBOLS OF BAPTISM
Out of which new birth happens. Just as water is essential to our physical life, so the living water of God’s love sustains our spiritual life.
The person being baptised is anointed with oil. Anointing with oil at baptism is a reminder of God choosing each of us to be his own.
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
The priest makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the person being baptised, as a symbol of ownership. Because of baptism, we belong to Jesus.
THE BAPTISM CANDLE
The person being baptised is presented with a lighted candle, the flame reminding us of the light of God’s love that dwells within the life of all who are baptised.
What is confirmation?
Confirmation marks the point in your Christian journey when you come to affirm for yourself the Christian faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop.
The Confirmation Service
Your confirmation will be led by the bishop. It may take place during the main Sunday service or at a special service. It may also take place at the cathedral or in another church in our diocese.
There will be a rehearsal before the confirmation service so that you understand everything that happens in the service. The priest taking the rehearsal will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in; some will be for just you and the other confirmation candidates to say.
Most of the confirmation service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the renewal of baptism promises, candidates may be asked by the bishop to gather around the font.
Making decisions and promises
When you were baptised as a child, your parents and godparents were asked to declare publicly on your behalf that they believed in God and that they would bring you up to follow Jesus. They were asked to answer, on your behalf, that you had decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ. At confirmation, you will renew these decisions and promises.
The declarations made by you will be made in front of the church congregation, representing the local Christian community, and they, in turn, will promise to support you and pray for you.