St Andrew

Baptism - Asking to Join our Church Family

 

We would be overjoyed to welcome you into our congregation.

We have prepared this page for you because baptism is very special and we want to make sure that we have done our best to explain the very real commitment that it involves.

 

What’s it all about?

We are special to God! He delights in us just as you do in your child! Before all things began he designed us in a special way that enables us to live in friendship with him. He also gave us the gift of freedom of choice.

 

We made a mess of things  and we still do

 Sadly, we misused our free will and made a mess of things.  The good news is that God didn't cast us off as we deserved. Because he loves us so much that he sent his Son (Jesus) to rescue us – to offer us a second chance and invite us back into friendship with him.

 

Jesus came to do six important things

He came:

  • to express the love that God has for us
  • to clear up misunderstandings about God
  • to explain things, including how to live in fellowship with God
  • to undo the effects of our sins by dying for us on the cross
  • to undo the power of death by his resurrection
  • to invite us to be rescued and to begin again in a new and personal friendship with God

- but the choice is ours.

A Christian is basically someone who says a personal 'Yes' to Jesus and to God's invitation to come back into day-to-day fellowship with him.

 

Where does baptism fit in?

Baptism is the doorway to becoming a Christian. It is the point where a person publicly declares that they want to leave their old way of life behind and begin a new life as one of God's people.   

They are then immersed in water (or water is poured over them) as a sign of dying to their old life and of beginning again as one of our Lord's people.  

In baptism we are immersed into Jesus and all he has done for us and we come out of the water to begin a new life in the family of his people.

 

Baptism has two sides to it

  • There is the bit that God does
  • and the bit that we do.

Both are necessary.

It begins with God. He reaches out to us to rescue us and invite us back into fellowship with himself. Our part is to accept the invitation. Becoming a Christian is all about

  • saying a big 'yes' to all that Jesus has said and done
  • a big 'yes please' to all that Jesus offers
  • and a big 'yes' to living out the gospel in the real world with the rest of God's family - the church.

So, you could say that the human part of baptism is about believing and belonging.

 

An added gift from God

When someone genuinely does this - God is so overjoyed that he adds yet another gift. God adopts us into his family. Before we were just beloved creations but through baptism we become part of the family of God we have the status of being an adopted child.

Now along with all God’s other children – all the other members of his family we have the privilege of calling God  ‘Father.’ 

 

The baptism of babies

What about babies? Good question!  A baby isn’t able to choose to become a follower of Jesus and for this reason some Christian Churches say that only adults should be baptised.

Our Church, the Church of England, says that it is happy to baptise babies on the understanding that the parents and Godparents will bring the child to church and do the human part of baptism with and for the child until such time as he or she can take over.

 

Your commitment

The church agrees to baptise infants because the parents and Godparents promise to bring the child up as a member of our church family and also to back this up at home by help him or herto pray and become a follower of Jesus.  The promises made in the service are made to God and to the congregation.

Please only ask for baptism if you are genuine about doing this.

 

A bit heavy ?

Yes, you're right  - but nothing of value is superficial.

 

Godparents

  • For this reason we would ask you to choose Godparents who have a real personal commitment to Jesus. They must have been baptised themselves and should be genuinely prepared to pray for and help their Godchild to be part of the family of God.
  • There should be three Godparents, two of whom should be the same sex as the child and one of the opposite.

 

Our Church family

Our Church family meets at 10am Sunday morning

There is a crèche area and a thriving Junior Church that meets during term time

For more details please phone - Fr Cliff  Bowman  on 01895 239055