What is Adult Baptism?
Baptism has always been central right from the first pages of the new testament as one of the things Jesus commanded us to do. In Matthew 28 Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It is not an optional extra but a key part of the Christian faith. It is an outward sign of our inner faith. It is like saying wedding vows publicly because you want to stand up and make a public announcement of your faith to show you are serious. It is a symbol of commitment and is like putting your money where your mouth is.
It is a symbol of new life because Baptism means burial in water and we symbolise dying to our old life and being reborn and having a fresh new start like a blank canvas stretching gloriously out ahead of us. As we go into the water we’re acting out, and identifying with, the death of Jesus. Rather than being buried under six feet of soil, we’re submerged under water. Being raised out of the water is a victorious demonstration that we have risen with Christ to a whole new kind of life. It’s a hugely powerful picture. We don’t need to wait to be Baptised until we are perfect, as that will never happen. Only Jesus was perfect. Some people think they need to be a mature Christian first, but this is not the case. As soon as we make the decision to turn to God we should get baptised.
Children can be Baptised, or as an alternative, we can offer a thanksgiving service in which you can give thanks to God for the birth of your child and celebrate their new life. This service is similar to a Baptism service in that prayers are offered to God and you can choose people to support your child, but this service does not require any prior Christian commitment or the making of Christian promises that you feel you cannot keep. Thanksgiving does not stop you having your child Baptised at a later date. Some people choose a thanksgiving service for their child rather than a Baptism so that the child can choose to follow Jesus for him or herself when they are older and able to make that decision.
When do services take place?
Baptism and thanksgiving services take place during a Tea and Toast Church Sunday afternoon service by prior arrangement. They are usually booked a few months in advance. The Baptism or thanksgiving Service is part of a normal Tea and Toast Sunday service, which would last from 3- 4.30 pm and would include music, prayers, readings and a short Christian talk as well as the Baptism/thanksgiving service itself with refreshments. There is no charge for the baptism or thanksgiving service.
What must I do to book a Baptism or thanksgiving?
If you are interested in Baptism or a thanksgiving we will arrange a time to meet you at your home to discuss which option is best for you. During this visit, we will ask about your reasons for wanting a Baptism or thanksgiving and will discuss with you the commitment needed for either one. We will set a date and fill out the appropriate form with you. The visit will last about an hour. If you have any questions about Baptisms or thanksgiving services or would like to book one call Fiona on 07788 418347.
Before the Day
For a child baptism you will need to think about choosing God parents. For an adult baptism you’ll need someone to hold your towel. You will also need a change of clothes. The person getting baptised will make promises before God and friends and family and we use an indoor pool and the person stands in the pool and is submerged in water momentarily.
It would be nice if you could prepare a few words of testimony to say on the day about why you want to be Baptised and it’s the perfect opportunity to share the story of what your faith means to you. Don’t worry we will have a run through before the day of exactly what to expect.