We hope that the following information about Christian Baptism might be helpful.

Believers Baptism is the ceremony in which men and women declare their faith in Christ and dedicate their lives to His service. In this way a person can become a member of the Church after following a course which explores what such a commitment entails. We believe that any person wanting baptism should understand its meaning, want to make and intend to keep the vows, and believe the declaration they are expected to make.

Infant Baptism has been practised right from the beginnings of Christianity. Believing parents have wanted their children to share in their faith and be seen to be part of the Church at which they worship. Babies of course are unable to understand the faith, so in Infant Baptism, the parents declare their faith and their intention to bring their child up within the fellowship of the Church and in a Christian home. In a sense the choice of a faith is denied to the child by its being baptized ~ Baptism is a statement of adherence to the Christian faith. However a child needs to experience worship and learn about a faith in a believing environment if he or she is to make an informed choice.

We baptise, not out of necessity but as an expression of faith and commitment in response to what God has accomplished in Christ. The church promises to support and nurture the child. As parents you will be asked to confess your faith in God and your commitment to both your vocation as Christian parents and to the Church.

The vows you will be expected to make are as follows:

The minister asks:

Do you believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, maker of heaven and earth, Redeemer of the world, giver of life?

Your response: We do.

The minister asks:

Do you promise, trusting in God's grace, that by prayer and example you will teach (your child) the faith of the gospel and bring him/her up in the worship and life of the Church?

Your response: We do.Only parents who are in regular attendance at a church can make these vows in a meaningful way; the vows are not appropriate for others to make.

When children are old enough to make a commitment to Christ a Service of Confirmation brings them into full membership of the church. This follows a course in which the Christian faith and church membership is explained.

Many people do not believe in Infant Baptism but want their children to be received by the Church and to publicly give thanks to God for them. They prefer to wait until their children are old enough to understand the meaning of baptism. They can then decide whether or not they wish to commit their lives to Christ and His Church.

When they realise what vows they are expected to make in a service of Infant Baptism, many parents decide that it would be wrong for them to stand up in a church and make promises that they are not already keeping or do not feel able to keep, or to say they believe when they are unsure about their own faith.

To baptise the children of parents who are not professing and practising Christians undermines the integrity of the sacrament of baptism. However the Church in no way rejects any parent or child by suggesting that an alternative service might be a more appropriate way to receive God's grace. We do not believe that any child is in danger of damnation due to original sin and therefore no child needs to be baptised. Therefore all parents can, without fear, wait and let their child decide for him/herself regarding baptism on reaching maturity.

For those who do not want infant baptism or who are unable to make the vows, the Church offers a service of Thanksgiving, Dedication, and Blessing. This service does not require such demanding promises to be made, and water is not used. It is becoming very popular today but it is not baptism (or Christening a term not normally used by the church these days). In a service of Thanksgiving, parents give thanks for the gift and birth of their child and ask for God's blessing. Prayers are said for the health and general well-being of the child and for God's protection through life. The hope that the child will eventually come to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is also expressed.

The vows for a thanksgiving and blessing are:

The minister asks: Do you thank God for the gift of this child?

Your response: We do.

The minister asks: Do you promise so to order your lives that your child will be surrounded by love and goodness?

Your response: We do.

As far as the Church is concerned all children are treated alike. If you request a baptism or blessing we take this as an indication that you will be happy for a Minister or Elder to visit your home occasionally to see you. Your child will also be entered on our cradle roll and should receive a birthday card from us. This is normally brought to your home until your child is attending Junior Church, then the card is given on the Sunday before. Finally may I invite you to come and share with us in worship. I can assure you of a very friendly reception.

I hope this helps you to understand how important the promises are that you will be making and will help you make the correct decision regarding which service would be most appropriate for you to ask for.

If you would like to talk to Rev Rog further about baptism please give him a call and make an appointment for him to come and see you.

You are welcome to become part of the life and fellowship of our church. You may decide that we are not the church you are looking for, every church is different in its style of worship although we share the same faith. Why not come along and see? Our normal Sunday service time is at 10.00 am