Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is a sacrament (a holy ritual to symbolize grace) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptised
in the river Jordan and his command to make Christian disciples by baptising them.
In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love in giving life and giving life into the responsible hands
of the parents. In Baptism there is a public declaration of Christian faith into the orthodox beliefs of the church.
In the Anglican Church it is common to baptize young children; this is sometimes known as christening but the correct term is Baptism.
Baptism is about giving thanks for work of God in the life of the one being baptised. It also contains a public declaration of that faith in Christ.
If an infant is being baptised then the public declaration of faith is by the parents and the godparents.
At a child’s baptism, parents and godparents are making promises on behalf of the child who, God willing, will make the same public promises
for themselves later in life (Confirmation). The promises by parents and godparents are about faith in Christ as well as making promises
to do their utmost to raise their children/godchild to follow Jesus too. Thus parents and godparents need to be Christians themselves
before they can be involved in a baptism.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up
out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:
“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Baptism at All Saints?
All Saints is an Anglican church and practices both infant and adult baptism. Normally people need to be part of the regular
worshipping congregation if they or their child are to be baptised. We provide preparation for baptism.
Usually at least 2 month’s notice is required. Contact All Saints’ office if you want more information.
Baptism Services are generally carried out as part of a usual Sunday Service as the church makes promises at the Baptism
to do all we can do to help the person being baptised grow in their Christian life, that includes helping the child’s parents.
Also Baptism marks a welcome into the church and the church is not the building but the people of God and thus baptism
is best done supported by God’s people.
Baptism is into the Christian name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and so baptism is a public declaration of someone
who has decided to be a Christian. It is not a ceremony to make a person an Anglican. Confirmation is the step into the Anglican membership.
All Saints is an international church and we recognise everyone’s baptism from whichever Christian church a person
was baptised as long as it was into the orthodox Christian faith as expressed in the Apostle’s Creed.