After Jesus had been crucified, died, and was raised from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and said; "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Baptism is the initiation into the Christian faith. When someone decides that they want to follow Jesus, having realised that He came from God and died for us, then in response to Jesus’ command, that person will want to be baptised.
Just as we use water every day for cleansing, so too the water of baptism symbolises the cleansing of sin, a ‘dying’ to the old self and being born again into a new life in Christ.
In the Church of England, we often baptise babies/ young children, who are obviously too young to understand what baptism is about, and so the parents and god-parents of the child make promises on the child’s behalf. As these promises are between the parents/ god-parents and God, we want to ensure that you as parents/ god-parents have a good understanding of what they are and so when someone approaches about a baptism for their child, we first of all offer a Thanksgiving. At this we give thanks to God for the gift of the child, ask His blessing on the child and pray for the parents. You are not being asked to make any promises at this point that might feel you aren’t ready to make.
We then have a session together to explain in depth what these promises mean. It is at this point that some feel that the Thanksgiving was sufficient for them and they don’t want to make those promises. Others feel that they are ready and so we then book a date for a baptism.
Both Thanksgiving and Baptism take place during our 10:15am morning service