Baptism means simply to be sprinkled, washed or dipped in water, and it has rich and multi-layered meaning for Christians. It is also commonly called Christening – another beautiful word which is about more than simply a naming ceremony (it is that too). Both words speak of being united with Christ, in whom we see the God who is Love. So it is about being ‘Christ-ed’!
Here in the five churches we offer an open welcome to all who wish to be baptised or who wish to have their children baptised. We take the rich meaning of baptism seriously and want all to enter into the life of love, new beginnings, forgiveness, reconciliation, sacrificial compassion and grace which baptism speaks of. In baptism we are united with Christ, into the mystery of his death and resurrection, and therefore are united with one another in a way that is deeper than words. Baptism is for the Christian the foundation for all true human community, and so is a sign of hope and love when things around can seem to be so fragmented. The Church, with all its flaws, is the community of the baptised, and so we are baptised into the Church.
Confirmation is a word which speaks of a person receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit – the Sacred Breath – and is a ceremony at which the bishop lays her/his hand on the candidate. It is a way in which people make their own public profession of faith sometimes for the first time. All candidates for confirmation need to be baptised and be old enough to understand and agree to what they are doing, and will need to be willing to undergo some kind of preparation. We welcome all who wish to pursue this. It is possible to prepare for baptism and confirmation all at the same time, and for both to take place on the same day.
What to do next…
Baptism can take place in all of our churches and can occur in a variety of ways locally. Confirmation services normally occur annually in one of the churches in the deanery. In both cases contact the Rector (below) for more information or to arrange a chat, and click here for more general information. There are no fees connected with either baptism or confirmation.