Most of us have been baptised, usually as infants, and the Church continues to offer a ministry of welcome through this sacrament. If you have a child who has not yet been baptised – or if you have not been baptised yourself – please do not hesitate to contact us about this.

Baptism is one of two sacraments – the other being Holy Communion. The catechism describes a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” For baptism, the outward visible sign is water and the inward and spiritual grace is “A death unto sin, and new birth unto righteousness.” Those to be baptised require, “Repentance, whereby they forsake sin: and faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God.”

If the person being baptised is still an infant, parents and godparents speak on his behalf. They are required to answer these questions before the congregation and before God:

Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God? I renounce them.

Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God? I renounce them.

Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God? I renounce them.

Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Saviour? I do.

Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love? I do.

Do you promise to obey him as your Lord? I do.

Parents and godparents say they will pray for the child and draw him by their example into the community of faith and walk with him in the way of Christ, and care for him, and help him to take his place within the life and worship of Christ's Church.

It is because of these commitments that the Church says that godparents should ideally be confirmed – I would be happy to help you find someone who is, so that at least some of the godparents meet this requirement. There should be at least three godparents (there is no maximum number, within reason!), and at least two of them should be the same sex as the child; parents may act as godparents to their own child. Being a godparent, as the name suggests, is all about seeing to the spiritual needs of the child – it is not to do with looking after the child if the parents are not around. 

As baptism represents welcoming someone into the family of the Church, it should take place within the context of Sunday worship. This is how the Church expresses this:

It is desirable that every minister having a cure of souls shall normally administer the sacrament of Holy Baptism on Sundays at public worship when the most number of people come together, that the congregation there present may witness the receiving of them that be newly baptized into Christ’s Church, and be put in remembrance of their own profession made to God in their baptism.

If you feel you are not yet ready to make the commitments baptism requires, an alternative thanksgiving service is available. On the day itself, you will be given a copy of one of the Gospel accounts to read with your child and a baptism certificate. There is no charge for baptism.

I hope this brief outline helps your understanding of what is involved in baptism. I look forward to the opportunity of meeting you and talking things through, if you would like you or your child to be welcomed into the family of the Church in this way.

Karl Przywala, Rector