The baptism service (sometimes called 'Christening') assumes that one or both of the parents are practising Christians and also already members of the local church. For the service to have any meaning for the church and family we therefore expect parents to be attending Christ Church regularly for at least 3-6 months before we explore the possibility of baptising their child.

This gives them an opportunity to decide whether to become members of our church family so that together we can help their child grow to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

We also expect parents to participate in our next introductory course exploring the Christian faith which takes place three times a year.

The baptism service takes place within the normal Sunday morning service so that the Church family can share in the promises made with the parents and godparents to bring the child up within the Christian faith. Parents and godparents are expected to be able to respond with the words in bold.

An alternative Service of Thanksgiving is more appropriate where the parents do not yet feel able to make the promises contained in the Baptism service or do not wish to attend Christ Church regularly. If you would like more information on either option please get in touch with our vicar, Stephen.

INTRODUCTION
Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us that to enter the kingdom of heaven

we must be born again of water and the Spirit,

and has given us baptism as the sign and seal of this new birth.


Here we are washed by the Holy Spirit and made clean.

Here we are clothed with Christ,

dying to sin that we may live his risen life.


As children of God, we have a new dignity

and God calls us to fullness of life.

Faith is the gift of God to his people.

In baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling.
People of God, will you welcome these children/candidates

and uphold them in their new life in Christ?

With the help of God, we will.

Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.

Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?

With the help of God, we will.


In baptism these children begin their journey in faith.

You speak for them today.

Will you care for them,

and help them to take their place

within the life and worship of Christ's Church?

With the help of God, we will.


DECISION

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.


Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.

Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.

Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.

Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.


Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.

PRAYER OVER THE WATER
We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life. Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through water you led the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land. In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us from the death of sin to newness of life.

We thank you, Father, for the water of baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son, we baptize into his fellowship those who come to him in faith. Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, they may be cleansed from sin and born again. Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

PROFESSION OF FAITH

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess together with these candidates the faith of the Church.


Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

BAPTISM

N, I baptize you in the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross.
Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.

Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ
against sin, the world and the devil,
and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.

May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness,
restore in you the image of his glory,
and lead you in the light and obedience of Christ. Amen.

WELCOME & COMMISSION

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism:

N, by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.


We welcome you into the fellowship of faith;

we are children of the same heavenly Father;

we welcome you.


We are all one in Christ Jesus.

We belong to him through faith,

heirs of the promise of the Spirit of peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.


Faithful and loving God,

bless those who care for these children

and grant them your gifts of love, wisdom and faith.

Pour upon them your healing and reconciling love,

and protect their home from all evil.

Fill them with the light of your presence

and establish them in the joy of your kingdom,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


God of grace and life,

in your love you have given us a place among your people;

keep us faithful to our baptism,

and prepare us for that glorious day

when the whole creation will be made perfect

in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.