Baptisms at St Michael’s



Stacey England,, used by permission.


Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”              (John 10:10)

Christian baptism (sometimes called a christening) is an ancient practice. It is called a ‘sacrament’, which means it is a sign of God’s love and grace. It happens when someone has water splashed on their head, or is immersed fully into water, while the minister says the words “…I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” The baptism candidate makes promises to follow Jesus Christ, or has those promises made for them if they are too young to make them for themselves.

Some people are baptised into the Christian faith when they are babies or young children, and others will choose for themselves to be baptised when they are old enough to make that choice. There is no age limit on baptism – anyone of any age can be baptised.

Baptism is an important step in response to God’s love. It is something special, something holy, and something that stays with us for the rest of our lives, so a baptism service is a time of real joy and celebration.

Christian baptism is about two very important things. Firstly, it is about starting something. It signifies the start of someone’s Christian journey. That journey of faith might actually begin before someone is baptised (in the case of someone who has chosen for themselves to be baptised) or after (in the case of a small child who is too young yet to make decisions about faith), but baptism formally signifies the beginning of this special, life-changing journey.

Secondly, baptism is about joining something. It signifies someone’s entry into the family of God – the Church. And that’s not just St Michael’s Church, but the universal Christian Church, which is made up of believers from all around the world, and all through time – those who have gone before, and those who are yet to come. When we are baptised, we join this enormous family!

In the baptism service, we use several symbols. We use water, which reminds us that God gives us a spiritual wash (which we all need, every day of our lives). Water also reminds us that just as our bodies need water to live, our souls need God in order to really flourish, and to live the life that God intended. Water also symbolizes ‘drowning’ or dying to an old life of fear and despair, and rising to a new life of love, hope and joy – this is the change that God wants to bring in all of our lives. This dying and rising follows the pattern of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection on the third day. And so the minister will make the sign of the cross on the forehead of the baptism candidate with oil that the Bishop has blessed, and says the words “…Christ claims you for his own” – Christian believers are called to live, not for themselves, but for Jesus Christ.

Each baptism candidate is given a lighted candle in a baptism service. The flame represents Jesus, the Light of the world – into a world of evil and ignorance, he brings goodness and truth. Jesus also calls us the light of the world – it’s like we catch the flame from him so that we can shine like he does, and be people who work hard to make the world a better place.

If you would like to enquire about baptism, please contact the vicar,

Revd David Cattle: 

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