Baptisms




Each year throughout the world millions of children and adults are baptised, following the example and command of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is our privilege and pleasure to be able to minister this Holy Sacrament and to welcome new members of a universal Church which continues to grow at a rate of thousands of souls each day.


THE BAPTISM OF CHILDREN


Jesus said “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs”  And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them and blessed them.  Mark 10 vs13 – 16

For most people the birth of a child is a time of celebration and thankfulness.  The church community shares the sense of wonder and gratitude for the gift of the new life that God has entrusted to you.

We hope that this information will help you as you prepare to bring your child for a service of thanksgiving or baptism.


WHAT IS BAPTISM ABOUT


Jesus was Himself baptised in the River Jordan and He became more aware of God as His Father and felt the special power of the Holy Spirit come upon Him.  After His death and resurrection Jesus  commanded His followers to make new disciples and to baptise them too. This has been done ever since in Christian Churches throughout the world.

Baptism is a celebration
We hope that the service of baptism will reflect your  sense of joy and gratitude. You may like to have a special time of thanksgiving for the birth of your child.  This short service can be followed by a baptism at a later stage.

Baptism marks a new beginning
The waters of baptism remind us of the new start which God offers to each one of us, as we turn away from the failings which make us less than whole people and turn to God, at this special point in our journey of faith.  Parents and Godparents are asked to reaffirm their own faith and to make promises on behalf of the child, so it is important that you understand just what the service involves.

Baptism is becoming a member
In baptism a person is welcomed as a member of the worldwide Church, which is made up of people committed to following Christ, sharing worship and trying to live out lives of faith and love. In baptism God receives people into Christ’s Body – The Universal Church – which means that they become members of something that is far larger than the local parish church.  It is not just an earthly  Church, but one that stretches back thorough history and on to eternity.

At the service of baptism your child will receive a baptismal candle and a certificate of baptism




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who can be baptised at Balby, Wadworth and Loversall?

Anyone who lives in the parishes of Balby and Wadworth with Loversall is entitled to ask for baptism for themselves or their children.  If you do not live in parish we encourage you to go to your own parish church unless  there are special reasons such as family ties or other links with the locality.

How do I arrange a Baptism?

Come to either the 9am service at Wadworth Church or 11am service at Balby Church.  There will be a form to fill and and we can provisionally pick a date. The date will be confirmed when you come three times to a morning service.

When are children Baptised?

Our Baptism services are usually carried out on a Saturday and for 2017 these dates will be: 
21st January, 18th February, 22nd April, 3rd June, 15th July, 26th August, 
16th September and 18th November.

Baptism or Thanksgiving?

In the service of Baptism you as parents and godparents will make a series of promises on behalf of your child.  Please think carefully about these promises to be clear in your own mind that you are happy to make them and to make an effort to keep them.

For example you will be asked whether you are sorry for the things that you have thought and done, that are against God’s wishes; whether you accept Jesus as your saviour and accepting that he is Christ the Lord.  These are serious questions and your answers not only need thought, but should not be given lightly!

If you are unhappy about making these promises, it may be that a thanksgiving service is more suitable because you will not have to say anything you do not believe.  Take time to think about the Christian Faith and what it means for you and your family.  We welcome all enquiries about the Christian Faith and will be pleased to discuss any questions you have.

What is a service of Thanksgiving for the gift of a Child?

This service is designed to meet the needs of:
*Parents who see this as a preliminary to baptism.
*Parents who do not wish their children to be baptised immediately.
*Others who would like to celebrate and give thanks for the birth of their children but are not ready to make promises required in Baptism.


How do we prepare for Baptism?

The Baptism of your child is a special occasion for you, your friends and family.  It is important to prepare thoroughly for it and we encourage you to do so in the following ways:

Attend worship at one of our churches when you are able in the time leading up to the baptism, this will help you to become familiar with the church family and experience our services at first hand.  Take time to find out what faith in Christ really means to those who worship regularly.  Bring Godparents with you when realistic to do so…

We will arrange a home visit shortly before the service to clarify and discuss the promises and practical details and answer any questions you may have.  Ideally this would include Godparents too.


Who can be Godparents and how many can we have?

A Godparent should be baptised themselves in the Christian faith and be prepared to take seriously the promises they will make on behalf of their godchild.  And the continuing role you are asking them to take. The custom is to have two godparents the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex, this is purely custom and by no means the rule. If there is to be more than one godparent then they should be one of each sex. Parents themselves can also be the child’s Godparents.


Can we take pictures?

We are happy for pictures to be taken, but we ask that this is done at the end of the service to avoid distraction for other worshippers and the devaluing of this special occasion.  Please ensure that family and friends are aware of this to avoid misunderstanding.


How much will it cost?

Baptism is completely free! We do not charge for the baptism itself but invite contributions for the ongoing work of the three Churches in this neighbourhood.


What happens next?


Baptism is the first step.  A very important step, but only a first step.  It makes your child a member of God’s church.  Your children will only feel they belong to the church if they get to know the people who worship there.  Like many other activities, you need to join in, in order to make the most of it.  We hope that bringing your child  for Baptism has renewed your own interest in God and that you will take advantage of this opportunity to see what is on offer for you too.


WHY BAPTISM FOR YOUR CHILD?


To give him/her a proper name?
Children are properly named when their birth is registered.


To make sure he/she keeps well?
Baptism is not about spiritual inoculation or insurance policy.  Indeed God is displeased if parents and Godparents make the baptismal promises dishonestly.


Because Granny is pressing to have the baby “done”
It is the child’s parents who must give the child a Christian upbringing.  It is their faith which will count in the first instance, so they must decide – whatever other people may wish.


To make sure the child will go to heaven if they die young?
This ideas is still prevalent today, but we would wonder what sort of God would judge children in such a way whether they have been baptised or not.


To thank God for the child’s birth?
This is a good thing to do, but there is a service especially for thanksgiving for the birth of a child, which is not the same as baptism.  A service of thanksgiving is appropriate in instances where parents find it difficult to make the promises demanded during baptism or when they want their child to make up its own mind about baptism at a later date.  The minister will be pleased to advise.

To give the child a good start in life?
Yes, baptism is an ideal beginning, but it is only a beginning. The child’s Christian upbringing must continue otherwise it is start of nothing and the baptism is meaningless.


So the child can grow up as a Christian?
The act of baptism does not make anyone a Christian.  That only happens when children reach appoint of maturity when they can make a profession of trust in Jesus for themselves.  Until then they must rely on their parents and godparents for their help and guidance.


THANKSGIVING SERVICE


The Thanksgiving service is intended to allow parents to publicly give their thanks to God for the gift of their child.  It follows a simple format where the minister will lead short prayers for both the child and its parents, the child at this time is welcomed into the family of the church.

A thanksgiving service is also available following the adoption of a child.


ADULT BAPTISM


Baptism is not just for very young babies, it is for ALL AGES!.  You may have older children who wish themselves to be baptised or you may be an adult who has never been baptised….whatever, contact the vicar who will be pleased to discuss the options.


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