Baptism is a response to God’s love and forgiveness. It marks the start of a journey of faith with God which continues for the rest of our lives.
For all involved it is a joyful moment when we celebrate what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring our faith. We love to welcome new members of our church family, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on our own spiritual journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
The baptism service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian journey. There is the sign of the cross which reminds us of Christ’s death for us. The water of baptism, which symbolises how we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ’s dying and rising. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Holy Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus’ baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there is a lit candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of the world.
Everyone who is baptised walks in that light for the rest of their lives.
Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10).
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others. Baptism is just the beginning of this and so much more.
Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
– Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
– Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
– Showing them practically how to make good choices in life.
– Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith.
– Encouraging them to become a part of a community of faith.
So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.
Baptisms for young people and adults happen twice per year, in the Spring and Autumn, when we offer baptism by sprinkling, or, full immersion in our purpose built pool.
There is a special, but simple, service called a Thanksgiving, when you can ask for God’s blessing and pray for your baby. It’s different from a baptism and can be used as a way to say thank you to God for your child.
It is possible to have this service instead of a baptism if you decide that now isn’t the right time to have your child baptised.
Confirmation services are held annually, usually at All Saints, to coincide with a baptism service. Preparation for baptism and confirmation usually includes attending the Alpha course or, for young people, a course which is part of our youth programme.
Find out more
If you are new to St Mark’s and would like to enquire about thanksgiving, baptism, confirmation, or if you have any questions, please get in touch using the connect card below.
If you are already registered with St Mark’s please get in touch with Ann Fitzgerald, Baptism Co-ordinator.