What is Baptism
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God's love. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future.
Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is shared with this new member of the Church.
The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ's death for us. Our 'drowning' in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ's dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus' baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptized walks in that light for the rest of their lives.*
You can find out more about Baptism at the Church of England's Christenings website
For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12: 13
Current Advice on Baptism
Please note that in accordance with government regulations.
Until further notice
Baptism groups are limited to six people.
This includes parents, godparents, and the child to be baptised (it does not include the priest or anyone assisting him)
Godparents must be present or, each have someone present instead to answer on their behalf.
Each child must have at least three godparents.
At St Stephens at the present time, all baptisms take place on Sundays at 12.30 pm. We are not able to offer baptisms as part of the main Sunday services as those services are themselves have limited capacity.
We are very sorry about this and we ourselves find this difficult to understand when wedding parties of 15 are allowed.
But we have no choice. These limitations are required by law which we must all obey.
We fully understand that under these conditions, you might wish to delay the baptism. Please note though, that if there is any suggestion of a need for an urgent baptism through ill-health for example, please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Canon andrew sage,
Baptism at St Stephens
If you would like to discuss a Baptism at St Stephens, then please telephone us on 01253 353894 or complete the form below.
*From the Patoral Introduction of Holy Baptism, Common Worship © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England or reproduced with permission from other copyright owners.