Baptism, sometimes called 'christening', is the sacrament where people are welcomed into the family of God. Promises are made to follow the way of Christ and the wider community promises to welcome and walk with the baptismal candidates on their journey of faith.
In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life, making a decision to start a child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support. For a child, baptism marks the start of a lifelong journey which involves turning away from all that is wrong, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the church, God's family on earth.
There are various symbols and actions used during a Baptism Service
- The sign of the cross - the vicar will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is an invisible sign to show that Christians are united with Jesus.
- Water - the vicar will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.
- Anointing - after baptism in water the vicar may anoint him or her with oil. This is a sign of the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit.
- The welcome - the church congregation will welcome you and your child into the Church family.
- Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. We will give you a lighted candle as a reminder of Jesus the light of the world.
Check out the links below for some excellent resources on Baptism:
- First Steps on an Amazing Journey - the C of E website packed with useful resources
- The Baptism Service in the Church of England
- Baptism preparation for adults
- Children’s books to prepare
- A Welcome book over 3 sessions
- Becoming a Godparent
- Baptism Integrity: exploring the theology and practice of Baptism
- An excellent Pinboard of Baptism Resources