Baptism

Baptism at St Paul’s Anglican Church Canterbury

Baptism at St Paul's Anglican Church CanterburyBaptism can happen at any age. Teenagers and adults are baptized after a period of teaching, formation and reflection about the Christian faith and what joining the Church involves.

If you are not baptized and have questions about the Christian faith you can join an enquirers’ group where you can ask some of the big questions… How do we know God? Why is Jesus’ death important? What is the purpose of life? What is Christian discipleship? Why do people die? What happens after death?

If you are an adult and want to know more about the Christian faith or want to explore the possibility of baptism or Confirmation please contact the Vicar.

What is baptism?

Baptism is the sign of new life through Jesus Christ. It unites the one baptised with Christ and with his people, the Church.

Baptism is a sign of the kingdom of God and of the life of the world to come.

Baptism is not just an event: it is a journey. In baptism, we welcome a child, teenager or adult into the Christian faith: to begin the journey with God through stories of Jesus, within the unfolding story of the worldwide church, and with the continual guidance of the Holy Spirit.

From one point of view, baptism represents what God does for us – he gives us a new birth by his Holy Spirit. This is what we pray for when we are baptized. The one essential thing on the part of the person being baptised is sincere faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the case of an infant, this response of faith must be made in the name of the infant by sponsors, (parents and godparents) until such time as the infant can make his or her own response.

Who may be Godparents?

Godparents are family members or friends close to the family who are interested in the child’s spiritual nurture. Godparents should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to the following questions:

  • Are you yourself a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of his Church, sincerely believing the promises of God?
  • Are you willing to sponsor this child, answering for him/her now, and accepting responsibility for his/her Christian upbringing?

Those who act as godparents in baptism are accepting the responsibility, with parents, of providing encouragement, teaching and the help of a good example so that the children may be brought up to follow Christ and become faithful members of the church.

Infant Baptism

The baptism of infants and children at St Paul’s normally takes place during the Sunday 10:00am service. However, if necessary, the baptism may take place at another time. This should be discussed with the minister of the parish church where the parents live, or where they regularly attend church. It is most important that a firm link be formed with the church in which the child is likely to be raised.

In baptism children are welcomed as members of the Church – i.e. the local and worldwide Christian family.

For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith.

I’m not a regular churchgoer. Can I still have my child baptized?

Yes. The Church believes that God’s love is available to all, regardless of their background. The Vicar would be pleased to talk to you about the baptism of your child.

You will be given a colourful booklet called “your baby’s Christening”.

Topics covered include:

  • Why baptism?
  • Before the baptism
  • Questions people ask
  • The signs and symbols of baptism
  • The baptism service
  • You and God
  • Helping your child to grow in Christian life
  • Looking forward to Confirmation

We hope your baby’s baptism will be a wonderful and memorable occasion and that it will mark the beginning of a long and happy association at St Paul’s.

Is there a fee for baptism?

No. Parents should feel no obligation in this respect. If they wish to make a thank offering, either through the normal offertory or in some other way, they are free to do so.

How do I apply for infant baptism?

Please provide us with the following information:

To the Minister at St Paul’s Anglican Church

We wish to apply for Christian Baptism for:

Proposed Christian NamesBaptism at St Paul's Anglican Church Canterbury
……………………………………………….
Surname of Child
……………………………………………….
Date of Birth
……………………………………………….

Parents’ details
Father’s name and occupation
……………………………………………….
Mother’s name and occupation
……………………………………………….
Address
……………………………………………….
……………………………………………….
Telephone Numbers
……………………………………………….
Parents’ Signatures:
Father
……………………………………………….
Mother
……………………………………………….

Other members of family
……………………………………………….
……………………………………………….
……………………………………………….
……………………………………………….
We wish to nominate the following persons as Godparents:
Full Names
1. ……………………………………………
2. ……………………………………………
3. ……………………………………………

We look forward to welcoming your child into the family of God and into our Parish family.

We will be in contact prior to that date to arrange for a member of the ministry team to visit with you and the Godparents to read and discuss the baptism service.

What else can parents do?

Pray for the child. Baptism is not a naming ceremony; it can be a most meaningful occasion for establishing yourselves, your home and your family in a right relationship with God.

You may have been out of touch with the church; or you may wish to ask about baptism or confirmation for yourself.

If you are not certain that you are ready to bring your child for baptism, there is a brief service of ‘Thanksgiving for a Child’ in A Prayer Book for Australia, which you may like to ask us about.

Please contact the Vicar for more further details and information.

 

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