The Melanesian Martyrs' Memorial Church of St Andrews

Baptisms / Christenings

Baptisms / Christenings

There is some confusion over the difference between terms Baptism and Christening in our society today.  Essentially the term Christening refers to the occasion in which the Baptism occurs and the term Baptism is the sacrament conducted during a Christening.  The term Christening is also related to the naming of a child.

If you would like to be baptised or have your child baptised at St. Andrew’s please contact the Rev’d Stephen Baxter.  Baptisms occur during our 9.45am Sunday Services.  Candidates or Parents also meet with one of the clergy prior to the Baptism itself to go over the service and its meaning, and for practical details.

There is no cost to being baptised but parents often make a donation.

Some things to consider:

Coming to the Church for the Sacrament of Baptism

Being baptised yourself or having your child baptised is a wonderful choice to make, which will have life-long implications both for you and for your child. We encourage you to take this decision seriously, recognising that the day of your child’s baptism is just the beginning of a long relationship with the Church. We take our responsibilities to you seriously also.

1.What is Baptism? Baptism is the way in which the church receives people into the family of Christ to live life in a new way and with new meaning. At the time of baptism, the person/child is formally received as a member of the church. The act of baptising someone with water symbolizes the way we are washed by Jesus Christ. It is one of the main sacraments of the Church, and was commanded by Jesus himself.

2. What does it mean for me to be baptised? When we become baptised we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. This means that we are willing to let go of our old ways of seeing ourselves and others. We choose to recognise the presence of Jesus in our lives, and follow him as a disciple: we become actively Christian.

3. What does it mean to bring a child or infant for Baptism? If we are bringing children to be baptised we make a commitment to bring them up in the Christian faith, so that they might be able to make a choice for themselves when they are older. As baptised individuals or parents of a child being baptised we also promise to support the work of our local congregation and diocese.

4. How is baptism celebrated in the Anglican Church? The service of baptism includes the reading of scripture and preaching of a sermon, the presentation of the candidates, and the affirmation of beliefs by the candidates, or in the case of children, those who represent them. In the Anglican Church water is poured onto the head of the candidate for baptism with the traditional words, “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. (This does not mean that we believe that God is a man, but in we use these in our congregation because they are the traditional words used in baptism). The sign of the cross is then traced with water on the candidates’ forehead to show that baptism brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. The candidates are given a candle to represent the light of Christ and are received into the church community. Normally the service continues with the celebration of Holy Communion. We use a set liturgy. It is not possible to alter the vows and promises made. You need to be able to say the promises you make with integrity and follow through on them.

5. What kind of commitment is this? These are significant promises. Amongst others you will be asked to make these commitments:

Do you trust in Christ’s victory which brings forgivness, freedoms and life?

Your response (The candidate responds) In faith I turn to Christ my way, my truth, my life.  (Or parents and godparents of a child respond) In faith I turn to Christ my way, my truth, my life, as I care for this child.

You will also be asked to make this statement of faith:

I believe and trust in God the Father, maker and sustainer of all things; and in God the Son, my Saviour Jesus Christ: and in God the Holy Spirit, giver of life and truth.  This is my faith.
You need to actively raise your child in the Christian Church wherever you live, attending worship as regularly as possible.

We will do our best to support you in this decision. We will gladly welcome you to our community, or we can refer you to a church closer to where you live.