What is Christian Baptism?
Our church places great value on Christian baptism of young children. We believe it signifies that a person's life is turned away from sin and turned towards God. It means a person is trusting in God's promises for them in Jesus Christ, and therefore seeking to follow him as Saviour and Lord.
Obviously, an infant is unable to express or demonstrate this for themselves, and so as parents you are making an undertaking in the baptism service to bring up your child in the Christian faith, the faith to which you are already committed. The baptism service requires you to make a number of promises on behalf of your child to this effect.
The promises are:
Are you committed to the Christian faith?
Are you a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of his church, sincerely believing the promises of God?
Are you willing to accept responsibility to teach your child to trust and live by this faith?
Sunday Church Services
We ask inquirers for Christian baptism if they aren't already doing so, to start attending one of our Sunday church services. We have two traditional services, 8am and 11am and two contemporary services, 9.30am and 5pm, to choose from. (The 9.30am service is a family service with an "all-age talk", especially aimed at children, as well as a creche, SundayKids classes for those in primary school and a room off the hall where parents can go if there children (under 3) are unsettled, and still see and hear the service).
We also ask inquirers to attend a short preparation course where we go through the essentials of the Christian faith and how Christian baptism relates to it. This course is held on the first three Tuesdays of the school term, either in the morning or evening, whichever is suitable. Each of the three sessions runs for approximately one hour.
In 2016, the course will run:
- 2nd, 9th and 16th February
- 3rd, 10th and 17th May
- 19th and 26th July, 2nd August
- 11th, 18th and 25th October
As an alternative to a Christian baptism service we offer a Thanksgiving Service. At this service we ask for God's blessing on your child, give thanks to God for their birth into your family, and pray for you as you raise your child. The main difference with this service from the baptism service is that you are not making the promises found in the baptism service.
Both Baptism and Thanksgiving services are held at St. Stephen's on the first Saturday morning of each month. Our full-time ministers Rev. Matthew Brooks-Lloyd and Rev. Richard Mills conduct these services.
You are most welcome to contact us to find out more about Baptism and Thanksgiving services, and to have a preliminary chat.