Babies, children and adults are baptised at our church.
Sometimes a baby's baptism is referred to as a christening.
If you would like to find out more, please phone The Church Office on 0151 677 1186
to ask about booking and preparing for a Baptism.
Adults are often baptised once that have made a clear decision to follow Christ. The baptism will either take place in our pool in church (as shown in the pictures) or standing next to a small bowl on a wooden stand (a font).
Baptism of children
Following an enquiry, in preparation for baptism, we invite parents and their child/children to come along to one of our Morning Worship services where they are met with a warm and welcoming response.
The 11.00 am services are very ‘family friendly’ and we also have toys and crèche facilities which encourage parents to feel at ease during the time of worship. Following the service, arrangements are made to visit the parents to discuss the process or any concerns they may have regarding the church's policy on baptism.
Prior to the baptism, we also offer a 'Thanksgiving' for the birth and life of the child. At this ceremony, we name and pray for the family, that they may know God’s love and protection.
We have a team of Sponsors who are committed to support each family through the steps towards baptism and care for them pastorally.
Parents who decide to have their children baptised are invited to come to a preparation evening held in the Holmleigh lounge. It’s quite informal and involves watching a video called 'First Steps'. This explains the meaning of baptism so that parents can understand the promises they will be making on behalf of their child. It also gives an opportunity to discuss things more in depth and enables them to understand how important it is to help their children growing up in the Christian faith.
Baptisms usually take place on the first Sunday of the month at the 11.00am morning Service. This varies around Christmas, Easter and August.
The Start Course and Alpha Course are both excellent ways to explore the Christian faith and living as a Christian in today's world. We recommend these as good courses for adults thinking of baptism or confirmation. Parents bringing their children for baptism are helped to understand what it means to bring up their children as Christians.
Some more information based on an article from the Church of England Website
YOUR CHILD'S BAPTISM IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
What is baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life, deciding to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Baptism is a visible sign of God's love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.
When did baptism start?
Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan. This was a turning point in his life (you can read the story in the Bible: at the beginning of Mark's Gospel in the New Testament). Jesus told his followers to baptize others as a sign that they had turned away from their old life, and begun a new life as Christ's disciples, members of his Body, having been assured of God's forgiveness.
Baptisms often took place in a river: new Christians were dipped under the water, marking their death to an old way of life, and lifted up again as a sign of new birth.
Making decisions and promises
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus.
You will be asked to answer, on your child's behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and to turn instead towards Christ.
The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of the church congregation. The Christian community will promise to support you and to pray for you and your child.
During the service, you will be asked to make the following declarations:
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
Parents and godparents: I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
Parents and godparents: I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
Parents and godparents: I repent of them.
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
Parents and godparents: I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
Parents and godparents: I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
Parents and godparents: I come to Christ.
What happens in the Baptism service?
Your child's baptism will take place during the main Sunday service. This is so that your child can be seen to be joining the family of the Church and be welcomed into membership. In turn, the Church will promise to support and pray for you and your child. The vicar will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child.
For the baptism itself, parents and godparents will be asked to gather either at the front of the church around the font. (The font is a large basin containing the water for baptism.)
Frequently asked questions
Q| What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?
A| None, they are just different words for the same thing.
Q| What is the right age for baptism?
A| Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned believe it is right to ask for baptism. Teenagers and adults may also be baptized. St Mary’s often invite people on the Start and Alpha Courses to prepare for baptism.
Q| What does it cost?
A| The Baptism service is free.
Q| What is a godparent?
A| Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptized as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.
Q| Who should I choose to be a godparent?
A| Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. They should be baptized themselves.
Q| What happens after the baptism?
A| Baptism marks a new start for your child, as a member of the worldwide Christian community. In turn, the Church welcomes you and your child and promises to support you in bringing the child up in the faith. Both of our congregations have services where children are welcome and special groups and activities for them.
Click here for a leaflet on being a Dad to a baptised child.