What is Baptism?
When Baptised, a baby, child or adult becomes a member of the church and becomes part of the family of God, belonging to a community of Christians which is worldwide. The church is not just a building but a community of people. Jesus was baptised and commanded His followers to do the same. Baptism is a beginning not an end, a start of a Christian life. Babies need love, care and attention as they grow and a newly baptised person needs nurture to grow into a mature Christian. This is why the role of parents and godparents is so important. They make vows on behalf of the child and promise that the child will be brought up as a Christian knowing Jesus and experience a living faith and later renew those vows at their confirmation.
What happens during Baptism?
The Parents and Godparents make vows on behalf of the child. They also agree:
to believe and trust in God
to take part in Christian worship with the child
to teach Christian faith and practice to the child
to make sure the child is encouraged to be confirmed
to pray regularly for the child
So a partnership is formed between God’s family and your family.
During the Baptism service there are three signs or symbols that are used:
- A wetting of the head with water representing the new life in God’s family. Through Jesus we can have forgiveness of our sins as we turn to God.
- A sign of the cross is marked on the forehead reminding us of the love and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
- A lighted candle to represent Jesus – the Light of the World.
Where & When does Baptism take place?
Baptism is an event for the whole church family as they welcome the person being baptised into the church. Therefore, at St Stephen’s, baptisms are held in the context of a Sunday morning Communion service and the services begin at 10.30 am.
You are welcome to attend a service at the church on any Sunday but you are required to attend at least once before the Baptism.
When choosing Godparents, it is important that they should be people who will carry out their duties responsibly and are over the age of 16 years. The church requires that Godparents must be baptised Christians. Please choose a maximum of 3 people: for a boy – two men and one woman; for a girl – two women and one man.
A printable copy of this information, some further details about the process to arrange a baptism and a form to complete can be downloaded here
Alternatively, please contact the church office for a paper copy of the booklet and form.