Baptism can be a source of great joy for family, friends and priest as well as for the person being baptised. When someone is baptised they are incorporated into the body of Christ, the Church. Coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a real relationship through baptism, prayerfully and sincerely entered into, is the only way to a fulfilled and joyful life.

Baptism is about becoming a member of a community.  Many people mistakenly think that baptism is an end in itself.  It's done when the child is little and that's the end of that.  But that way of thinking does not do justice to baptism.  If baptism is to be taken seriously then the parents should actually consider coming to church at least a few times prior to the baptism.  That is one way of honouring what they are doing and honouring God as well.

The Anglican Church baptises children and older persons (any age) who approach us for baptism. There is preparation with a priest before baptism at which the practicalities, the meaning of the baptism symbols and the service itself is reviewed. This is a great opportunity for the priest to get to know the parents of the children or the adult who is to be baptised.

Adults who wish to be baptised usually come to several meetings with the priest because they need to make the promises for themselves. Adults who choose to be baptised are encouraged to also seek confirmation by the Bishop.

Baptism is a big step to take these days and is somewhat counter-cultural with so few parents being members of a church family. Parents who bring their children for baptism should take very seriously the whole matter of whether or not they can truthfully make the promises that will be put to them during the baptism service. Many people make the promises but, by their subsequent behaviour, do not seem to intend to keep them which is a tragedy.

The main promise for sponsors and parents is this: By your prayers and example, by your friendship and love, will you encourage (NAME) in the life and faith of the Christian community? To which the response by the parent and godparent is "I will with God's help". Think about this promise if you are considering baptism for your child or for yourself.
Baptisms may occur at St James either during the service of Holy Communion at 10.00 a.m. or at a separate service at 12.30 p.m. Baptism within the 10.00 a.m. service is more suitable for those who are part of the regular worshipping community. 

Because Saturdays are set aside for weddings and preparation for Sunday services, Saturday baptisms are not carried out at St James.  For further information regarding baptism or to begin to arrange a baptism for yourself or your child please call the Vicar, Fr Jeff Parker on 03-97933898.

Our vicar Fr Jeff Parker has written a small booklet on the subject of baptism entitled "TAKING THE PLUNGE" and this is available for free to pick it up or for $2.00 for postage and handling.



Photo credit: Naomi Kevin