Baptism - Asking to Join our Church Family
We would be delighted to baptise your child.
To bring a child to be baptised is one of the most powerful and joyful things any parent can do. It is a way of celebrating the safe birth of your child and also an opportunity to give thanks to God for the gift you have been given. But it is also a way of saying (publicly) that however much the child belongs to you, he or she does not just belong to you. In a profound sense, your child is ‘bigger’ than you and belongs to that which is outside you – God himself.
Baptism allows you to give expression to this feeling and it thus marks the beginning of the life of faith – the decision to try and follow the way of God as shown us in the person of Jesus Christ.
In Baptism, God declares to the newly baptised: "This child is a child of mine"
What happens at Baptism?
Baptism marks the start of the journey of faith. It is when we join the Christian family, the church. In Baptism we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging our faith in God.
Baptism is a Sacrament – a visible sign of God’s love. This inward gift is made visible through the words and symbols that are used during the service.
The sign of the cross will be made on the baptised person’s forehead. It is the badge of faith and a sign that the person is united with Christ.
Water is a sign of being washed from sin and beginning a new life with Christ. Those being baptised have water poured over them three times ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’. The three ways in which Christians have experienced God.
A candle is given to the newly baptised. Jesus is regarded as the light of the world and the baptism candle which everyone receives is a reminder of this light which they now share.
Who can be baptised at St Andrew’s
Anyone of any age who is living in the Parish of Uxbridge who has not already been baptised. It is possible to be baptised in St Andrew’s if you live outside the Parish but have strong links with it.
When do baptisms take place?
Because Baptism marks the start of a journey of faith and because this journey is shared with others, it is preferable for baptisms to take place in the main Sunday service at 10.00am. However, there may be occasions when it is appropriate to hold the baptisms at a different time. This is at the discretion of the clergy.
Who do I contact to arrange a Baptism?
Please either contact the Rector, Rev Andrew Studdert-Kennedy (email@example.com or tel. 01895 239055) or the Parish Administrator, Jeff (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 01895 258766).
Everyone involved has responsibilities:
It is you who have brought your child for baptism who will carry the greatest responsibility for bringing up your child within the Christian faith. This includes praying for them, reading the Bible with them and accompanying them to church where they can join in with the rest of the family of the church in worship and learning about their faith.
Their role is important too, and they make the same promises as the parents. It is best if godparents are worshipping members of a church and it is a requirement that they must be baptised themselves.
There should be three Godparents, two of whom should be the same sex as the child and one of the opposite.
The church family
The worshipping family of the church also has responsibilities – to encourage the newly baptised and their parents so that they feel not only welcome but also expected.
There Junior Church, which meets during the 10am Sunday morning service during term time, and the creche are an important part of this process.
Responsibilities and rewards
If the responsibilities are great, so too are the ‘rewards’ and these words, spoken at the baptism service, give an indication of what they might be:
Today God has touched you with his love
and given you a place among his people.
God promises to be with you in joy and in sorrow,
to be your guide in life and to bring you safely to heaven.
In baptism God invites you on a life-long journey.
Together with all God’s people
you must explore the way of Jesus
and grow in friendship with God ….