Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. When babies and young children are baptised parents promise to pray for their child, to explain and give an example of faith in Jesus at home, and to help their child to become a worshipping member of their local church.In baptism we celebrate what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring our Christian faith. Baptism is the first step in the Christian journey and we are here to support you and your child on the further steps of that journey. We welcome you to join us in our services as we pray with you for the health and growth of your child.
Are we expected to come to church regularly?
One of the promises that you make in the baptism service is that you will draw your child ‘by your example into the community of faith’, in other words to become part of the church. If you do not currently attend church, this would be a good opportunity for your to reassess your relationship with God, and ask God to strengthen your faith. We strongly encourage you to bring your child along to at least one of our church services before the baptism service. You’ll find a very warm welcome at St Martin’s, particularly at our 10.00am service, where there are other children and parents. You will be more relaxed and able to enjoy the baptism service if you and the baby feel at home in the church building.
Can I be baptised more than once?
You can only be baptised once. Baptism is once and for all and for life, because it initiates (into the church, into Christ, into new life) it cannot be repeated. Once you our baptised, you cannot become unbaptised again. However it is possible to have a service of reaffirmation of the baptism promises. This would be similar to baptism (even using water), but the difference is that it reaffirms the promises originally made, as a public sign of Christian faith. If you feel this is something you would value, please speak to the vicar Simon.
How much does baptism cost?
There is no fee for the baptism service.
Choosing Godparents is an important decision. Godparents must be baptised and also ideally confirmed, they should also be active committed Christians. The Godparents should be people you feel will support your child in their life journey, and who will encourage your child in the Christian faith. People normally choose three and sometimes four godparents (at least two of the godparents should be the same sex of the child).
I don't feel comfortable making the promises required in baptism, but would like to celebrate the birth of my child, is there an alternative service we could have?
Yes, for those who want to celebrate the birth of their child, but do not feel comfortable making the promises in baptism might prefer a service of thanksgiving
I want my baby baptised, but my partner isn't interested in religion, does this mean we can't have a baptism?
No, it doesn’t, so long as one parent and the Godparent make the declarations and promises then a child may be baptised. It might be difficult for you if your partner is actually opposed to your baby being baptised. Talk it through with your partner and with the vicar. If you are able to go ahead, include your partner in as much of the preparation as possible so questions can be raised. Your partner may feel uncomfortable saying things they do not believe, and rightly so, but may still want to be involved. Remember that baptism is only the start for you and your baby so discuss the implications for the future too.
I was not baptised as an infant, can I be baptised as an adult?
The answer is yes. You would be encouraged to attend a course (such as Alpha or Start) to help you understand what the Christian faith is about.
Is baptism the same as Christening?
Yes, Baptism and Christening are two different words to describe the same thing.
We're not married, can we still have our child baptised?
Yes. Baptism is about your child’s relationship with God and the Church. Your marital status is not directly an issue. However in the baptism service you will be promising to raise your child in a Christian home, and the church teaches that marriage is the best context not only for raising children but also for your relationship. This is an opportunity to reassess your situation. You might consider whether getting married might be best for your, and your child, and even combine your wedding and your child’s baptism!
Where and when do baptism services take place?
Baptism is a public act of worship that includes the church as well as your family, it therefore takes place at the 10.00am service in St Martin’s on a Sunday. The date for the baptism will be arranged with the vicar, after initial contact.