Infant Baptism
 
Some information and guidelines about baptism 

It’s great that you want to have your child baptised. We are here to make sure you get the most out of your special day and understand what baptism is all about.
 
How do I get my child baptised?
 
Step 1: come along to a service at St. Bridget’s (10.45am or 6.30pm). There you can meet with the vicar and begin the process of arranging a baptism. (We cannot offer baptism on every Sunday - so please speak to the vicar before booking a reception). 

Step 2: parents and god-parents should come along to St. Bridget’s church regularly for at least 4 weeks. We need to know you are serious about bringing your child(ren) up in a Christian way. Attending church is part of the Christian way of life.   

Step 3: once the date has been agreed, you can fill in the baptism application form (available from church) which gives us the details we need. Infants usually have three god-parents. They must be baptised and preferably confirmed. You then return the form to the vicar at church (or to a churchwarden).
 
Step 4: the vicar will arrange an evening meeting for parents and god-parents to explain more about the service and what baptism means.
 
Step 5: the baptism will take place as arranged, usually during the morning service (10.45am) .
 
Step 6: infant baptism is just the beginning of the Christian life. Belonging to the church as a family is the ideal way of receiving the help and support you need. We have groups for children and young people. We also offer confirmation for those ready to profess faith for themselves.  
 
So what is baptism about?
Jesus told his disciples: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:18-20).
 
Jesus tells those who believed in him to be baptised as an outward sign of their faith. Baptism with water symbolises how God washes us clean of our sin when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. No-one is perfect. We all need God’s forgiveness.
 
Baptism also symbolises a fresh start in life. The first believers were baptised in the open air in rivers. They would go from one side to the other, going under the water and emerging into a new life with a new identity as a child of God. In some churches older children and adults prefer to be baptised in pools where they can go under the water. It is a very powerful symbol.
 
God forgives us when we give our sins over to Jesus. He died on the cross to pay the price for those sins. We receive back from him the promise of a new life and the gift of the Holy Spirit. There are no catches – it’s a genuine free gift! When babies are baptised it’s on the understanding that their parents want them to begin this journey of faith. Baptism doesn’t give a child (or an adult) a living faith in God. But babies can be brought up in a way that allows them to come to Jesus as they grow up. In the Church of England the service of confirmation allows teenagers and adults to renew the baptism vows made on their behalf as babies.

What are the responsibilities of parents and godparents?
If the Christian upbringing of your child is important to you then here are some things you can do.
 
Godparents – use the prayer on the baptism card given to you at the service.
Godparents – look out for children’s story bibles and bible activity books for birthdays and the anniversary of the baptism.
Godparents – offer practical help to the parents as they bring up their child.
Parents – read bible stories to your child – there are lots of good picture bibles available.
Parents – pray with your child.
Parents – try to make church a part of the weekly routine. You will find most churches have an ‘all age’ or ‘family’ service where children are welcome.
Parents – set a good example of Christian behaviour. Christian values are ‘caught’ as well as taught.
 
Parents and Godparents – you may not feel like experts on the Christian faith! Don’t worry – come along to church to find out more (check out the Christianity Explored page on this website). As you grow in your faith and understanding you will help your child to grow as well.
 
What’s on for children at St. Bridget’s?
Fridays during term time: Chatterbox mums and tots 1.15pm-2.45pm at the Church Hall.
4th Sunday of the months at 10.45am: family service suitable for all ages.