St Andrew's Church, Chelmsley Wood

Baptism is a special occasion no matter how old you are. It marks the point in our lives when we decide to follow Jesus and live according to his teaching.

Baptism for babies and toddlers

In the Bible, adults were baptised when they decided to follow Jesus and become Christians. However, for almost 2000 years the Church has baptised babies too. This reflects the fact that Christian parents want to bring up their new child as Christians too. In the service of infant baptism parents make promises on behalf of their baby - to turn away from things that are contrary to the teachings and values of the Bible and to follow Jesus. In practice this means that they promise to talk about Jesus at home; to pray together; to read Bible stories and to become part of the local Church. Even though baby may not be aware of what's being done, this marks the beginning of their Christian life. Baptism isn't about bringing good luck or keeping bad things away. It's about a conscious decision to bring up your child with particular values and a knowledge of who Jesus is.

Baptism for adults

When a teenager or older person decides to become a Christian they may want to be baptised if this hasn't already happened earlier in their lives. The service of adult baptism is very similar to that of babies - water from the font is poured over the candidate's head, but you make promises yourself. If you want to be baptised just like Jesus was - by being completely dipped in water - talk to Mike. We can probably arrange it but we may have to hire a swimming pool.

Confirmation

Confirmation is the other side of the coin to baptism. When your baby grows up and reaches an age when he or she can make decisions for themselves they can think about "confirmation". This is the service where a young teenager or older person can "confirm" the promises that their parents made when they were very young. It marks a conscious decision by the young person that they want Jesus to be their King and Friend.

If an adult comes to Christian faith and they were never baptised as a baby, the Bishop will usually baptise and confirm them in the same service.

If you are thinking about baptism for your child or yourself, the first step is to call the Vicar who will set up a meeting to have a coffee and talk about what you're planning to do. You can contact him on 07757 425326 or vicar.standrewschelmsleywood@gmail.com.

There is no charge for a service of baptism.