Baptism is all about being 'officially' welcomed to God's Church and accepting the path set out for us to follow by Jesus. Although Baptism is considered by many to be for babies, there are also a number of adults who seek to be baptised each year, so that they become a full member of God's church. Parents and godparents need to be baptised themselves, and this can be done in the same service.
The ceremony for children and babies, involves vows being taken by parents and godparents on behalf of their children, that they will ensure the child is brought up to believe in God and 'to renounce the Devil' and all his works.
The ceremony involves the symbolic washing away of sins by water being run over the forehead of the person being baptised. Originally, and in some other churches, baptism involves most of if not all of the body being completely immersed in water. Once the baptism is performed, the candidate is considered to have been born again, into God's church. As well as the child being baptised by name.... "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost", the priest makes the sign of the cross with oil, upon the head of the person being baptised, to symbolise their acceptance into the Christ's church.
In the case of children and babies, the parents and godparents promise that they will ensure the child is brought up in the way of Christ. This is also a good time for parents and godparents to consider their own faith journey. As part of the service they promise to walk with the child in the way of Christ, and draw them by their example into the community of faith.
The ceremony lasts about 20-30 minutes. No fee is charged for baptism though donations are gratefully received. Baptism families are asked to nominate a charity so that half of what is donated at the baptism service can be sent to the organisation, the other half is given to the church.
Once children are old enough to take on the baptism of vows for themselves - this is usually from and including the age of 10 - they can attend the preparation lessons for their subsequent confirmation by the Bishop.
The First Steps Anyone wishing to be baptised or to arrange for a child to be baptised, should first decide on a date - ideally at least two months in advance - and then contact Oliver Dickson email: email@example.com to make arrangements for the service. The church provides assistance from its wardens and other officials to guide and help those attending before and throughout the service.
It is usual in the case of adults seeking to be baptised, to have their Baptism ceremony immediately preceding the annual Confirmation service, which is conducted by a Bishop. The Baptism of adults can of course be arranged separately, if this is preferred.