Choosing to have your child baptised
Baptism celebrates a new beginning as a member of Christ’s body, the Church. Baptism immerses us in the new life given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. When we come for Baptism we are saying “yes” to God’s love and claiming our place within the community of God’s people.
Baptism can also be a time to acknowledge the mystery of a new life coming to birth among us and the immense privilege—as well as the awesome responsibilities—we have as parents.
When we baptise our children we are promising to be role models for them: examples of faith, but also examples of hope, and love, and compassion.
IDEA: Write a letter to your child explaining why you are choosing to have them baptised. As they become a little older you can read that letter to them, perhaps on the anniversary of their Baptism or maybe at their birthday. When they are older again, they may ask you questions about what is in the letter, or whether you think that your hopes and prayers for them are coming true.
When you are ready to start planning for your child's Baptism, please contact the church office so we can work with you to make the necessary arrangements.
IDEA: If one or both of the parents have not been baptised, we can arrange for that to happen at the same time as your child.
Personalising your child's Baptism service
There are many ways that we can personalise your child's Baptism service, and we will discuss these with you when we met to plan the service. Some ideas to consider, depending on the age of your child, include:
- Family heirlooms, including special Christening gowns and shawls.
- A new outfit purchased for the occasion (for older children)
- Make and/or decorate your own Baptism candle
- Write a prayer to be used in the service, expressing your hopes for your child as they grow up
Choosing godparents for your child
Asking someone to be a godparent for your child is a special moment. They will appreciate your trust in them as key figures in the life of your child.
Godparents have an important role as they assist and support you in the spiritual nurture of the child.
Godparents do not need to be Anglicans, but they must be baptised themselves, and they should be people who take their own Christian practice very seriously. Do not choose someone as a godparent just because they can be at the service. It is better to have someone else stand in for an absent godparent, if they will be better in the longer term as a special mentor in the life of your child.
Traditionally a child has three godparents: including two godfathers for a boy, and two godmothers for a girl. The number of people is not all that important, but the quality of the godparent is a key consideration. Will each of these people be positive and healthy influences on your child as they grow?
After the Baptism
As a family you will have endless opportunities help your child grow into the confident Christian person that we prayed for at the the time of their Baptism. Every special moment that you treasure with them is a step in your child's development, and every time you share your own faith and your own personal values with your child you take another step in this lifelong journey of faithful living as people of Christ.
Godparents will have an important role as your child grows, and perhaps especially when the children reach adolescence. By then the trusted adults you chose to be the godparents to your child will have cultivated a place in the child's life so they can serve as a personal mentor when your children most need their guidance. In the meantime help the process along by making a habit of referring to these people as "your godmother" or "your godfather" even if they are also uncles, aunts or cousins. Plant a seed and watch it grow when the time comes.
The church is here to help you and your godparents in the nurture of your children. We will be in touch from time to time to offer suggestions, share ideas and maybe invite you to a seminar that may help you as Christian parents.