The Sacrament of Baptism at St Mary’s
We are always delighted to welcome new members into the Christian family here at St Mary’s.
What is Baptism?
Baptism (also sometimes known as Christening) is the Sacrament by which a person becomes a member of the worldwide Christian Church. Even for the youngest among us, becoming a Christian means a new start in life, because through it one dies to sin and is reborn in the faith of Jesus Christ. Baptism thus marks the start of a journey with God that continues the rest of our lives. It is also the moment when the wider community of the Church welcomes the new Christian, promising its support for the future.
Why baptise children?
We believe that Baptism is a gift that God offers to all people, regardless of their age. Yet because children are too young to make this commitment themselves, parents and godparents make promises on the child’s behalf as well as their own. When a child is old enough, it is expected he or she will then affirm these promises at confirmation.
Once you decide to have your child baptised, you should think carefully about choosing godparents. It is usual (but not required) to have three godparents, two male and one female for a boy and two female and one male for a girl. Ideally, they should be confirmed and practicing members of the Church. Certainly they must be baptised and able to make the promises sincerely. Godparents of other denominations are welcome.
Both parents and godparents should ask themselves
- Are you prepared to give the child a Christian upbringing within the church family?
- Will you help the child to learn to pray and to attend public worship regularly?
- Will you encourage the child in due course to come to Communion and Confirmation
If you have not been baptised as a child and you would like to be, please contact the Vicar. Adults, like children, are always welcome in the Christian family. When an adult wishes to be baptised, this is usually also linked with confirmation.
When and How
Baptism takes place during the main Sunday service at 10.30am. Other times may be arranged under exceptional circumstances. If you do not attend St Mary’s regularly but wish to have your child baptised here, this may still be possible. In all cases, please contact the Parish Office or the Vicar for a baptism form. The date for all baptisms must be agreed with the Vicar directly.