Why have your baby baptised?
All parents want to give their child the best start in life. They know they are laying foundations for the future, and naturally want what is good for them.
By having your baby baptised you are giving them the best possible gift: a beginning in the life of faith in Jesus Christ, and membership of God’s family, the Church.
Perhaps you have clear reasons why you want your baby to be baptised. Perhaps you just have a vague sense of it being ‘the right thing to do’. Having your baby baptised requires you to make promises on his or her behalf. It is something that requires thought and commitment.
What is Baptism?
Baptism (or Christening) is a sign of God’s love for us. It is a ceremony where water is poured over the child’s head, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is the means by which God gives us many gifts:
- Becoming a child of God
In baptism we are brought into a relationship with God, in which we can call him Father, as Jesus taught us to do.
- Belonging to the Church
In baptism we become members of a worldwide family, God’s family. We also believe that this family includes those who have died. This family seeks to support each other in fellowship and prayer.
- An act of cleansing
In baptism God is giving us a new beginning. Water is a sign of cleansing from ‘original sin’: the sin that affects all humans from birth.
- Sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
Faith in Jesus expressed in baptism is the basis on which we hope to go to heaven when we die. Through sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus we believe that nothing, not even death, can separate us from God’s love.
We believe that God gives all these gifts in baptism, but for them to be fully realised your baby will need to be taught the faith as he or she grows, attend Church regularly, and develop a life of prayer.
It is the responsibility of the parents and Godparents to encourage this growth in Christian faith. The Church will also seek to support you in this journey.
In due course we hope that your child will be confirmed, when they will reaffirm the promises you have made for them at baptism, and become adult believers.
At baptism you and your Godparents will make promises on behalf of your baby. These include:
- Turning to Christ
- Repenting of sins
- Renouncing evil
It is important that you and your Godparents can make these promises truthfully and with integrity before Almighty God.
The Godparents need to have been baptised and preferably confirmed as well. If you are not baptised it is possible for you to be baptised with your child. If you are not confirmed perhaps you would like to consider it as the next step in your Christian journey of faith.
Baptism is permanent and irrevocable, a once in a lifetime event. St. Augustine compared it with a soldier’s tattoo showing who was his lord. Consequently baptism cannot be repeated. Baptism in the Church of England is recognised by all the mainstream Christian denominations.
Baptism at Holy Trinity
Baptisms usually take place either during at the 10.00am Parish Mass on Sunday morning or at a sperate service on Sunday afternoon.
If you don’t live in the parish and are not on the church electoral roll it is only possible for your baby to be baptised at Holy Trinity after seeking the goodwill of your Parish Priest.
If you considering have a baptism at Holy Trinity then please contact the Vicar.
The Church of England has a website where you can find more information.