In Baptism, God declares to the newly baptised: “This child is a child of mine.”
To bring a baby to be baptised is one of the most powerful and joyful things any parent can do. It is a way of celebrating the safe birth of your child and also an opportunity to give thanks to God for the gift you have been given. But it is also a way of saying (publicly) that however much the child belongs to you, he or she does not just belong to you. In a profound sense, your child is ‘bigger' than you and belongs to that which is outside you - God himself.
Baptism, also known as christening, allows you to give expression to this feeling and that is why baptism marks the beginning of the life of faith – the decision to try and follow the way of God as shown us in the person of Jesus. The promises and commitment required of the newly baptised are substantial. Hence, in the earliest days of the Church, baptism tended to be reserved for adults only.
Nowadays, although the promises are much the same, it is much more common for people to be baptised when they are infants. That is why a lot depends not just on the parents and godparents of the child in question, but also on the prayers and support of the congregation of the church where the child is being baptised.
Every effort is made, in all our churches, to live up to these responsibilities.
The Revd Andrew Studdert-Kennedy
To request a baptism for your child or for further information,