Baptism is a precious gift given by God through the Church, a gift that we as parents have the privilege of offering our children. It is a gift meant to last a lifetime and beyond.
Baptism is a gift of new life, made possible through the Risen Christ. But Baptism is first of all an encounter with Christ himself. In the Church we call this a “sacrament”. Baptism is part of the most ancient tradition of the Church. It is a powerful and visible reminder to us that God’s love and salvation are not earned but are offered to us as a gift. Baptism is a sign of God’s desire to give us “more than we can ask or imagine”. (Ephesians 3:20).
In Baptism we welcome your child as a new Christian into Christ’s family, the Church. It marks an exciting and important first step in raising your child as a Christian within the Church community. This is the beginning of your child’s journey in the Christian life.
Our children need our help and support on this journey from family, from friends – and the help and support of the entire Christian community – to grow in awareness and understanding of their relationship with Jesus Christ through Baptism.
As part of the service of Holy Baptism you and the godparents (or sponsors) will be making significant promises on behalf of your child. These promises cannot be taken lightly and call for thoughtful and intentional commitment to living a Christian life and to participating in the community of the Church. Part of our task at St. James’ is to teach and to support you in this. One of the ways in which we do this is through a process of Baptism preparation.
We have available an information package which contains, among other things, a small booklet entitled Thinking About Baptism, which looks at what Baptism is, and what it is not. You are encouraged to read it as a first step in the preparation process. If you wish to proceed, you will be asked to attend some Baptism preparation sessions in order to further prepare yourself and your family for this important moment. If possible godparent (sponsors) are also encouraged to attend with you.
It is important to note that participation in Baptism preparation is required prior to proceeding with the Baptism. Also, as one of the Baptism promises focuses upon participation in a church community, you will be asked to attend regular worship at St. James’ before moving forward with the Baptism.
As Baptism is an occasion for the entire Church, we do not perform private Baptisms. Also, as a rule, we do not baptize children whose families do not live in this community. Rather, we prefer to encourage families to connect with a church in the community where they live. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, and these can be discussed on an individual basis with the St. James’ clergy.
At St. James’ Church we celebrate Baptism on particular Sundays which connect with major feast days of the Church calendar year: Holy Cross Day (September 14); All Saints (November 1); The Baptism of the Lord (January 12); a Sunday during Eastertide; and Pentecost.
For further information, details, a Baptism information package, or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to speak to:
Tel: 271–3572 ex.207
The path toward Baptism is an opportunity to grow in knowledge and in faith. We look forward to walking that path with you.
Glory to God, whose power working in us
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
forever and ever.