If you are interested in a baptism, we invite you to come along on a Sunday morning to our 10:30 Service where we can meet you and discuss arrangements. In the meantime there is some general information below.
What happens in the Baptism Service?
Baptism (or Christening as it’s sometimes referred to) marks a new start – a decision to follow Jesus Christ within the family of the Church. In the Baptism Service parents, along with the godparents, come to the front of the church and publically promise to do their best to raise their child to know God loves them, and to help them follow Jesus as a member of the Church. Then the church congregation welcomes the child and promises to support, encourage and pray for him or her. During the service the vicar makes the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead (as a reminder that they are united with Christ), pours water on the child’s head (as a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with Christ), and gives a candle (as a reminder that the light of Christ shines in the child’s life). If you don’t feel ready to declare your Christian faith and promise to help your child to follow Jesus then a service of Thanksgiving would be more appropriate. In this service you thank God for the gift of your child and the child is blessed. If you choose to have a thanksgiving, you can still have a baptism service for your child at a later date.
Frequently asked questions
What is the right age for baptism?
Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned are committed to bring up a child as a Christian. Teenagers and adults may also be baptized. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your Christian commitment publicly as an adult.
What are godparents for and how many should we choose?
Godparents make the same promises as parents to help raise the child in the Christian faith as part of the Church family. There must be at least three godparents and at least two must be the same sex as the child. Godparents can be family members or friends (parents can also be godparents) and should be people who will take an interest in your child’s spiritual welfare and pray for you and your child. Godparents must be baptised themselves.
What is the cost of a baptism?
The baptism service is free, although many couples choose to give a donation to the church.
What happens after the baptism?
Through baptism your child becomes a member of the worldwide Christian community! Here at St Mark’s we are committed to helping people of all ages grow in their faith in God, and at our 10:30am Sunday Services we have activities for toddlers and children to help them grow closer to God.