|Becoming Christian: (Please scroll down for more info)
Children: Baptizing Infants
FAQ's About Baptism:
What is a 'Baptism'?
Put simply, a baptism makes a new Christian. The word 'baptize' means 'to plunge'! Those who are baptized are 'plunged' into the water (symbolizing death) and come to a new life as a follower of Jesus. It is the most serious and best gift that the Church can offer.
So why do you baptize babies?
The normal thing with baptisms is that it be done with adults, who, after a period of training declare that they are ready to be followers of Jesus, join his people, the Church, and want to express their faith by doing something about it. We baptize babies on the faith of their parents, who promise to bring their child to Church, and who do some of the 'training' of their child at home.
Is this the same as a 'Christening'?
The name 'Christening' means 'Christ'-ening'. It means the same as becoming a Christian. There is no difference between being 'christened' and being baptized.
If I would like my baby baptized, what do I have to do?
A baptism has three parts to it, and the parents of a child who would like their child baptized experience all three. It is like a three legged stool, if one leg is taken away, the stool falls over!
First: Because God loves us and accepts us long before we can love God back, we are happy to baptize babies on the say so of parents.
Second: No one ever gets touched by God without being changed in some way. Because a baptism is a ceremony of change (being plunged into death and getting a new life) the parents of children who are baptized experience this too. This normally happens by the giving of companions from the congregation and a period of training.
Third: A baptism introduces a person into their new family, the Church. Parents of children normally come to Church during the training period as a minimum.
How long does this take?
That depends! Our best gift is the 'Rolls Royce' version of Baptism. Parents would prepare for the coming Easter, and the baby would be baptized on Easter Day. Parent's can also renew their commitment as disciples of Jesus. For information about this, go to the Christian Initiation section of this page (above). But we know times are changing. We also have an 'Economy-car' version of Baptism. There are normally four baptism days a year, that match four important festivals: Easter, (Late March-April) Pentecost, (May-June) All Saints' Day (November 1) and the Baptism of Jesus (early January). Parents come to Church between when they apply for baptism, till the next baptism day to get to know their new family. They take a course in understanding the promises they will make, so that they do not make them lightly, and understand the seriousness of what they are doing.
But this is not how it used to be, is it?
No, that's right. In days gone by, most people came to Church and were brought up Christian. It was easy to baptize everyone because everyone mostly was a member of a Church. As well, there was a mistaken belief that if a person was not baptized, they would not go to heaven if they died. These days, we do not think that babies who die are somehow out of God's care. As well, many people do not wish to have anything to do with the Church. That is fine. A baptism is a Church ceremony, and no one is forced to participate in it if they don't want to. I still believe in God, but I don't want to come to church.
Is there anything else I can do?
Yes! We offer a 'Naming and Blessing' ceremony for newborn babies.
Follow this link to go to the part of our web site that tells you about 'Namings and Blessings'