What is baptism?
Baptism is a ceremony to indicate that a person is joining the community of the church. It has its origins in the practices of the church from the earliest days and the bible records Jesus’ own baptism. A baptism can be of a person of any age. Tradition and culture mean that often newborn children are bought for baptism but older children and adults of any age may be baptized. Baptism involves the use of water which has been consecrated for this use and can be by full immersion in that water or by having water (normally from a font) sprinkled over the candidate.
What do I do if I want my child baptised?
Initially, you should make contact with one of the clergy for your church (link to contact us page) to discuss the baptism. The minister will want to talk about your needs and requirements and to help with practical aspects such as the date and time of the service. They will also want to talk through the service with you and particular to see if both parents and godparents are willing to make the promises contained within the service on behalf of the child. If a child is older and able to read and understand the promises they may want to make them as well.
Normally a baptism takes place within the context of a normal church service.
If you are not living within the parish the minister will want to see that you have a link of some sort with the parish and/or they may want to contact the minister of the church where you live.
What do I do if I want to be baptised as an adult?
Again you need to make contact with one of the clergy for your church, (link to contact us page) who will want to talk through your reasons for wanting to be baptised and to make sure that you are willing to make the promises contained in the service. They may also want to discuss confirmation with you as this is a service that the church also has and which fully entitles a person to take part in church life and to receive Holy Communion. Before confirmation it is normal for a person to go through a time of preparation including studies either on a one to one with a member of the clergy or in a small group. A confirmation service normally involves the Bishop or one of his assistant Bishop’s.
It is not unusual for a parent to be baptised at the same time as one or more of their children.
I’m not baptised can my child be baptised?
Yes they can although sometimes a parent will choose to be baptised at the same time. The normal requirement of the Church of England is that Godparents (who are responsible for spiritual guidance for the baptised child) should themselves be baptised.
For further information on baptism and confirmation please see the below links