Baptism is the sacrament and sign by which a human being is blessed as a child of God and welcomed into the Christian family.
It is a special day for God, because it is a promise by God of his grace and love for us, and so a special time for the person concerned.
If the candidate for baptism is a child or an infant, the parents and godparents make solemn promises for that child and this makes it an important time for them. Godparents must be baptised (and preferably confirmed) but parents don’t have to be. This is because being a Godparent is about nurturing a child in the Christian faith.
It is never too late to be baptised. For many, baptism will be immediately followed by confirmation. A period of preparation and discussion is necessary, as you will make solemn promises. In practice we arrange this personally with you - either in a group, or a one to one meeting.
If you live in this Parish (you can find out if you do here) or are already a member of the congregation - however occasional - you should contact Rev’d Imogen Nay. If you are a member of another parish, but would like to start attending our church, then also speak to David or Imogen. The best time to meet us is on a Sunday morning at one of our services.
The church year has its own pattern, and requests for baptisms need to fit around the church diary. We always need to have at least two months notice so that preparations can be made. Requests for infant baptism are often very frequent in the summer months and multiple baptisms are normal. At St Andrew’s or St Mark’s there are various options for when baptisms take place, although almost always on Sundays. The clergy will discuss this with you when they visit.
After initial contact a member of the clergy will arrange to visit you. We will talk about what baptism means to you and about the actual service. You will be given an information leaflet. Dates for the baptism will be arranged and you will be given a form to fill in.
If you bring a child for baptism it is your duty to ensure that they are brought up in the Christian faith. If it's not your normal practice to attend church regularly, it is important to bring your child to church at least at major festivals: Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Ideally, it is good to aim to bring your child to church once a month. We provide a wide range of services at St Andrew's and St Mark's with special services for young children. The First Sunday of the month is All-Together worship (when the service aims to cater for all ages). Sunday Club for 3-8 yr olds runs every Sunday apart from the first Sunday of the month. There is a dedicated area for very young children at the 10.15am Eucharist on Sundays.
You may want to get involved in the life of the church in other ways too. We have social events for children, for example. Check our Parish Diary for more details of forthcoming events.
If you have decided as an adult to be baptised you have made the first step in a commitment to God and to your local church. It is your duty to pray, worship and grow in the life of faith.
There is no fee payable for baptism, but you may like to make a thank offering which you can make in an envelope marked for this and return it at the baptism service. For tax payers we offer gift-aid envelopes.
St Andrew's refectory (the 'Glass Room' visible from Maple Road) and servery are available for hire on Sundays for baptism parties. Please enquire with the clergy/Parish Office when booking your baptism.
The Church of England's website has a useful section explaining the Baptism service.