Baptism / Christening

Baptism is the symbolic introduction into the Christian Faith. Baptism was a part of Judaism and although what John the Baptist did was not new he put a new emphasis onto it which has continued in the Christian faith. Originally it was for adults. Infant Baptism (Christening) came into practice as early as the third century AD. Contrary to popular opinion it is not, and was never meant to be, some sort of Insurance against Hell or a passage to Heaven.

As Adults Baptism symbolises the cleansing of the body from the old ways of sin to the new ways of the Christian faith. It is a public display of dedication and is usually followed up with becoming a full member of the church. Infant Baptism is instigated by the parents as a sign of intent that they will bring the child up in a Christian manner. It also includes the naming of the child which is where the term Christening comes from. As the child itself has no say in the matter there is usually some sort of confirmation ceremony where the now consenting adult confirms the wishes of the parents and makes a commitment themselves to the church.  Baptism is a once off sacrament except for special circumstances of dramatic personal change. If a person has been Christened as a child, even if it was in a different denomination, there is not normally a full adult Baptism. This applies even to denominations that do not themselves do Infant Baptisms. The Child Baptism is recognised as legitimate and lasting.

Anyone interested in Christening a child or getting themselves baptised as an adult should make contact with our Minister. Although Baptism is not denominationally specific it is normally expected that anyone wishing to be baptised or to baptise an infant will make some connection to the church where it is done.

The baptism discussed here is water based. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a completely different act usually associated with becoming a full member of the church and although it traditionally follows water Baptism the two are not  intertwined nor inseparable. There are biblical examples of the Holy Spirit coming down on those who have not been baptised in water as well as examples when the Holy Spirit almost instantaneously comes down after water baptism has occurred.