Stained glass window with dove

Christenings - Adults


As an adult coming for baptism you will want to know much more about the faith which you are declaring and this information will help you understand what it means to be baptised in the Christian Church.

What is Baptism?
  • A way of acknowledging publicly our belief in God and our willingness to follow Christ.
  • A sharing in Jesus’ death and resurrection by symbolically going under the water (dead to our old life) and rising again (to new life).
  • Being symbolically washed clean, our sins forgiven.
  • It is a time when we remember that as well as being a member of a human family you are a part of God’s family too, the family of the Church.
  • It is sacrament, which means an outward and visible sign of God's love.
When Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan he became aware of God as his Father and felt the special presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit; it was a turning point in his life. After his death and resurrection Jesus commanded his followers to make new disciples and baptize them too. This has been done ever since by Christians throughout the world.
 
The Promises

Baptisms take place during a service of worship because the congregation of the church is asked "Members of the Body of Christ, who are now in his name to receive this candidate, will you promise to maintain the common life of worship and service that the newly baptized may grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord?" Thus the congregation is promising you that it will provide facilities helping you to worship and grow in faith. This promise is made on behalf of all churches.

After the congregation’s promises, you will be asked to stand up and declare your own Christian faith.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world?
Answer: I believe and trust in him

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed mankind?
Answer: I believe and trust in him

Do you believe and trust in his Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God?
Answer: I believe and trust in him

The minister then says to the congregation: This is the faith of the Church.
Everyone answers: This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

There are three questions about the way you intend to live your life. Here are the questions with a short explanation;

Question 1: Do you turn to Christ?        
(I want to change direction. I accept that my life is not totally my own. I acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and I will try to follow his teaching and his guidance for my life day by day.)
You will answer : I turn to Christ

Question 2:  Do you repent of your sins?
(I'm sorry about the past and I know that I am accountable to God for my actions and thoughts. I can never be perfect but as I admit what is wrong he forgives and accepts me. )
You will answer : I repent of my sins

Question 3: Do you renounce evil?
(I know that I sometimes have to make choices between good and evil. I want to set the evil behind me and from now on I will always try to choose the good.)
You will answer: I renounce evil

Your name

When the minister baptizes you she/he will use your name, this is because God calls us by name and has an individual relationship with each one of us.  The minister will say: 'Your name', I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

The Symbols

Water: Water is a sign of cleansing and also an important sign of life. Water symbolizes how we are all washed clean by God and forgiven and accepted by Him. As we cannot live without water so this sign reminds us that we also need the cleansing and renewing presence of God in our lives.

The sign of the cross: The minister will make the sign of the cross on your forehead using oil that has been specially blessed for the purpose. This is a sign to remind us of how Christ died for each one of us on the cross. As Christ died for us so we are now signed with the cross - the badge of our faith - to remind us that we must not be ashamed to profess our faith and fight against all that is evil.

The Minister will say: I sign with the cross, the sign of Christ. Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
Everyone answers: Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil, and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.

The Lighted Candle

Following the baptism a lighted candle is given and the minister says: Receive this light ... this is to show that you have passed from darkness to light.
Everyone answers: Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.

You will be presented with a small candle to show that in baptism we pass from darkness to light. Jesus is described in the Bible as the light of the world and as Christians we are to shine as lights in the world. Our world needs now more than ever for us to all reject the ways of darkness and follow Christ in the Christian faith.

The Welcome

At the end of the baptism the congregation joins to says, "We welcome you into the fellowship of faith;
we are children of the same heavenly Father; We welcome you."

Records

A permanent record of your baptism with family details is recorded in the official registers of the church. A copy of this is given in the form of a baptism certificate which is a reminder of this day.

Sponsors or supporters

As adults it is more appropriate that you have ‘supporters’ rather than godparents.  These will be people who are already baptized and will be able to pray for you and encourage you in your faith.

What about Confirmation?

People who have been baptized may also be confirmed.  Confirmation in the Church of England usually follows a course of preparation. The church runs courses for those seeking to be confirmed, those who want a refresher in the basics of our faith or those who simply want to know more about Christianity.
The bishop presides at the Confirmation service and will use the opportunity of the sermon to talk to the candidates about the responsibilities of adult Christian life and they will then make their public profession of faith.  During the service the bishop prays that the Holy Spirit will come upon those who are to be confirmed. They kneel before the bishop, who lays his hands on the head of each, saying: Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.