Baptisms have been performed for thousands of years. Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan by John the Baptist some 2,000 years ago.
After Jesus' death and resurrection, he instructed his followers to spread the word of God, the Christian message and to baptise new members into the church. This has been carried out throughout the world in the Christian Church since then.
At St Nicholas’ Church baptisms are often conducted during the contemporary service at 9:30am.
Who can be baptised?
Anyone who hasn't already been baptised. A christening or baptism service is a holy sacrament, which has been ordained by Jesus Christ. Many people are baptised as children, but it is also possible to be baptised as an adult.
To decide if baptism is right for you or your child you should understand what baptism is and why people want to be baptised or to have your child baptised.
What is baptism?
Baptism makes us a member of God's Family and a follower of Jesus Christ. God promises to forgive our past sins. Baptism is often described in terms of dying and being reborn or being washed and made clean again.
What role do parents and godparents play?
Most people are baptised as children and are too young to make the promises themselves, so parents and godparents do it on their behalf. This involves declaring your own faith in God, and agreeing to pass this on to the child. You are agreeing to bring up your child as a Christian and that you will help them to learn about God’s love.
One day, at their confirmation, they can confirm for themselves all the promises you make for them.
Who can be a godparent?
Godparents should be baptised, and preferably confirmed, and practising members of the Christian Church. They are chosen by you to set a good example of how to live as Christians.
How many godparents do we need?
Most people have three to four godparents, two of whom are the same sex as the child being baptised. There must be at least one of each gender.
WHAT DO THE SYMBOLS OF BAPTISM MEAN?
The commitments that you will be making on behalf of your child are accompanied by various symbols.
The commitments that you will be making on behalf of your child are accompanied by various symbols:
Water is blessed by the priest and used as a sign of God's life giving power. It shows how, just as we need water to refresh and cleanse us, so we need God's love to refresh and cleanse our lives.
Before the baptism, the priest will make the sign of the cross. The priest may also invite you to do the same. This is in remembrance of Jesus Christ and is like a badge joining your child to Christ's Church.
After the baptism your child is anointed with special oil.
At the end of the service you, or your child, will be given a candle. This represents God's light in the world, Jesus. It reminds us that His presence is like a light in the darkness.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?
You and your child will be welcomed into the church. Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong spiritual journey. Ideally, you should attend Church regularly, guiding your child toward confirmation, where he/she will be able to confirm the vows that you and the godparents have made on their behalf.
If you do not feel ready for the commitment of baptism, consider a thanksgiving service. This is an opportunity for you, your relatives, and the congregation to thank God for a new life.
GET IN TOUCH ABOUT A BAPTISM
If you are interested in arranging a Baptism at St Nicholas' you will need to contact the Parish Office to arrange a date for the service. Baptisms are often conducted during the 9:30am Informal Service.
The first port of call is to attend a morning service, and talk to one of the clergy (Sarb or Andrew) after the service. They will then arrange to visit you and talk through baptism. You will need to attend baptism preparation or to attend the Alpha course.
You will also need to fill in a baptism application form and return it to the Parish Office so we can complete the Baptism register.