Baptisms at St James'
We hope these notes will help you if you are considering a baptism at St James’.
What is baptism?
To bring a new life into the world is both a great privilege and also an immense responsibility. It’s that awareness that leads many people to want to express their gratitude to God. However there’s much more to baptism than saying thank you to God.
Baptism is a sign of belonging – to God, through his son, Jesus Christ and to his people, the Church.
Baptism is an important step in deciding that you want your child to belong to the family of God. It’s the first step on what we hope will be a journey of faith which we pray will become increasingly important to your child.
Preparing the Way
Before taking on any commitment you need to know what’s involved – that applies to baptism as much as to anything else.
You can be baptized at any age; adult baptism is a public declaration, a pledge, of personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Adult candidates are asked to make a public statement of their belief and trust in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to make certain promises.
At infant Baptism, these promises are made on their behalf by parents and Godparents.
Parents and Godparents
Parents and Godparents play a central role in the baptism of a child. It is a good idea to check that your chosen Godparents feel able to make the promises before others in public.
Godparents are normally two of the same gender as the child and one the opposite gender. Godparents must have been baptised and preferably confirmed, but that is not essential.
If parents or Godparents feel unable at this stage to make the promises and commitments involved, we are pleased to offer as an alternative a service of Thanksgiving.
When do baptisms take place?
Baptisms take place during our Family Service, which is usually on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 9.45 am. As we welcome a child into the family of God, it makes sense to have members of the whole church family present at the celebration. The whole congregation then promises to support you and your family in helping you bring up your child in the Christian faith and to pray for you.
If you live in the parish, the first step is to contact the Parish Office. If you are not sure whether you live in the parish we can check and pass you to the right church, if needed. Your enquiry will be passed to the Vicar who will arrange to visit you and discuss the baptism with you support you, usually a week or two before the service.
Before the baptism takes place, we encourage you to come to a Family Service to get a feel for what it’s like and to be introduced to the Minister.
When the day arrives
On the day itself, you will be welcomed by the sides men and women and you and your party helped to feel at home.
Although you may be eager to go and celebrate after the service, we would love you to try and make time to stay for coffee and meet other members of God’s family. After the service there will be ample opportunity for the taking of photographs.
We hope we can play our part in making this a memorable day for you and your family.