Baptism at St. Gabriel’s

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St. Gabriel’s Baptism Policy

Introduction

We are really pleased that you are thinking about baptism, (also known as Christening), for your child.  It is a very important step for you and for your child.  We hope this guide will clearly explain our baptism policy here at St Gabriel’s and that you will find it helpful.

Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism involves parents, Godparents and the Church making a commitment to pray for your child, to teach your child the Christian Faith and to encourage your child in private prayer and public worship so that as they grow they may be able to live out in practice the Christian life. From God’s side, the clean water is a symbol of His Forgiveness and His Grace, available to your child because of the work of Jesus on earth for all of us. Because of the strong promises of faith and belief that you, your chosen Godparents make in the Baptism Service it is expected that in preparation for the baptism you agree to: 

  • Attend church on a regular basis (at least twice a month) for at least three months BEFORE the date of baptism.
  • Have the Baptism service within or shortly after a main church service, so that the wider Church can welcome the child.
  • Where parents come from another parish, make contact with their own parish priest and conform to the Baptism preparation policy of that parish before we agree to baptize.

Adult Baptism

We encourage those old enough to answer for themselves as children or adults to come forward for Christian Baptism which, from the beginning, has been the official mark of entry into the Christian Church. Jesus commanded it and the early church practiced it. Adult Baptism can be an exciting public declaration of faith.

Thanksgiving for Birth and Life

For those who want their children to wait for Adult Baptism or who are unable to make the strongly Christian promises required of parents and Godparents in the Infant Baptism service, the Church is happy to offer a pre-baptismal service of Thanksgiving and Dedication of a child. Often and ideally this should take place within one of the main worship services of the church, with Christian friends around to support and pray.

We are not trying to put up man-made hurdles over which parents have to jump, but to enable them to see the seriousness of the promises that they are making.

Revd. Arthur Botham (Vicar)