We are delighted you are considering this very special step. Whether you are thinking of having your child baptised (Christening is another word for the same ceremony) or of being baptised yourself, we want to help you understand what it’s all about.
We are happy to baptise anyone who lives in the parish or who has a strong connection with one of our two churches, St Michael’s Stanwix and St Mark’s Belah.
Baptism is an important spiritual moment which marks the beginning of faith and membership of the Church, so all our baptisms take place during one of our main services on Sunday morning.
Please find below a step-by-step guide to our baptism process. Hopefully this will help you think about preparing for baptism, the promises made in the baptism service and also to consider whether an alternative church celebration may be more appropriate.
1. Attending an All Age Worship Service
If you have not had any contact with church for a while, we suggest attending one of our All Age Worship services. This is our monthly family-friendly service which is usually on the first Sunday of the month at 9.30am at St Michael’s and 11.00am at St Mark’s. Contact the Parish Office or check the online calendar for the next AAW service. This is the service in which child baptisms take place.
2. Baptism Information Evening
Once you have been to a service you will be invited to come to a Baptism Information Evening which usually takes place monthly. This is an evening where we talk about what baptism is and how it fits into the Christian faith. An important part of baptism is a serious commitment to Jesus Christ. It is helpful to discuss what you will be saying and promising - both for yourself and on behalf of your child - during the service. We will also outline an alternative celebration - that of Thanksgiving. This can be an equally special service for those who do not wish to make such serious promises of faith or who want their child to be able to choose for themselves when they are older. After this evening you can contact the office to say whether you want to have your child baptised or would rather talk further about other options.
3. Home visit
Following the Baptism Information Evening, there will be a visit to your home from one of the clergy to answer any questions that you may have and to talk about practicalities.
Our aim is to make sure you are fully prepared for the important promises you will make during the service and to explore the exciting future we believe God wants for you and your child.
We regularly run short courses designed to introduce people to the Christian faith and this would be the normal preparation for baptism if you are an adult. Please contact the Parish Office for details of the next course.