We are delighted that you are considering baptism for yourself or your child, and we welcome the possibility of celebrating the baptism at our church.
This page is designed to give you some key information about baptism and to answer some of the questions you may have.
If you think you would like to take the next step and discuss these matters further, please contact the Parish by email, or phone to speak with someone. We look forward to meeting with you.
What is baptism?
Baptism is a simple ceremony of washing in water accompanied by words. It is the way in which children and adults become members of the Christian Church. It is a sign of turning to God, and of faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism has been practised by Christians since the time of Jesus.
Is baptism the same as Christening?
Yes, the same. Christening is a popular term used by many people due to the church at one time being the only place where a birth could be registered; but the church usually uses the word baptism which comes from the Greek word, baptisma, meaning to dip or wash.
Who can be baptised?
Anyone who wishes to affirm their decision to turn to Christ. All who are baptised are welcomed into the Christian Church.
What is necessary for baptism?
Baptism is something God does for us. God offers us new life through the Holy Spirit. This is what we pray for when we are baptised. The one essential thing for a person being baptised is to have faith in Jesus Christ. In the case of an infant, the response of faith is made in the name of the infant by his or her parents and godparents or sponsors.
Who can be godparents?
Godparents are members of the Church who have already been baptised. They may be either the parents themselves or others close to the family who are interested in the child’s spiritual nurture. A godparent should be able to answer yes to these three questions:
- Are you a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of his Church?
- Are you willing to sponsor this child, answer for him or her now? and
- Are you willing to encourage the child in his or her Christian upbringing?
If the proposed godparent is not a follower of Christ, they can still take part as a sponsor. In this case their role is one of encouragement.
How many godparents?
A common practice is to have two godfathers and one godmother for a boy, reverse for a girl, but you can have any number of godparents of either gender.
When does baptism take place?
Baptism is performed during the Sunday morning service that the family usually attends. This means that the whole congregation is there to welcome the newly-baptised person into the Christian church and pray for them.
Can we have the baptism outside of the service?
Baptism is one of the seven sacraments of the Anglican Church and as such is celebrated during a Church service and as such it is witnessed by the entire congregation of which the family are an integral part of.
What promises are made?
Three promises are made by the candidate, or by the parents and godparents when the candidate is a child:
- To believe and trust:
- in God as the one who made and loves us
- in Jesus as the one who makes us whole
- in the Holy Spirit who gives us life
- To reject all that is opposed to God
- To obey God and follow God’s leading in our lives
What preparation is required?
The candidate, or parents if the candidate is a child, need to establish a spiritual home for themselves and their child prior to undertaking an important step such as baptism, thus we recommend a minimum of three months of regular attendance and involvement in one of the two morning services (08:00 or 09:45).
We meet with the candidate or parents initially, and the parents and godparents together on a separate occasion. The first meeting is to fill out the application form and to answer any questions you may have. The second meeting covers three areas:
- introduce you to core aspects of Christian life and faith
- explain the actions and symbols used during the baptism ceremony
- explain what is expected of you and the godparents in raising your child
What does baptism cost?
Baptism is a free gift of God. No fee is charged. If you wish you may make a thank offering, you may do so either through the collection plate during the service or in some other way. If you plan to become members of our congregation, we encourage you to join our giving plan.
What else can we do?
Pray for your child. Baptism is not just a naming ceremony, or a welcoming event. It is the beginning of a whole new relationship with God. It is an occasion for you, your family and home, to begin experiencing afresh the wonderful new and full life God offers us in Jesus Christ. The best thing you can do is join them on the journey.
What do we do next?
If you would like to know more about baptism please contact the Parish by phone or email:
08 9307 1112
If you leave your contact details we will contact you soon.
Wonderful God, thank you for the gifts of life and love.
Give us wisdom to guide our child in the way of Jesus,
lead us to a deep and full life,
and help our home to be a place of peace and joy. Amen.