We are delighted that you want to have your child baptised, and trust that we at St. Martin’s Hawksburn will be able to help you. You have experienced the miracle of a birth in your family, and have marvelled at the new life that has burst forth from the womb. Already you know that this new life is utterly remarkable. The most modern scientific explanations somehow seem quite inadequate as you gaze at this new little person.
Your child is a gift to the world of your love for each other, freely given and expectant with hope and possibility. You are co–creators with God the Life–Giver in the making of this new creation. As God has loved you, so you are able to love each other and to be truly creative in your loving.
This miraculous little bundle of joy will also stretch your capacities to the limit. You will have already grown tremendously, and there will be plenty more to come! All this creativity and growth happens not in isolation but in community – in the community of your family; in the community of society; in the community of the church. Our lives are always mysteriously joined with the lives of others; physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Baptism has been practised by the church from its earliest days, as a sign of new life in Jesus Christ. In this new life all people are joined as one, since we are not baptised into the Anglican Church, but into Christ’s Church, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
Baptism is a powerful sign, since it gathers many of the great themes of the life of faith. It reminds us of the creative and redemptive work of God as recorded in the Bible. In the book of Genesis in the story of Creation, God works in overcoming the waters of chaos. In the book of Exodus, God acts in the liberation of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt by parting the waters of the Red Sea. In the Gospels, we see the empowering of Jesus with God’s Holy Spirit at his baptism as he stands in the waters of the Jordan River, and in Jesus’ overcoming of death and sin in his crucifixion and resurrection.
Those who are baptised participate in this dying and rising in Christ, by their public vows and by the pouring of water. In baptism new life in God is promised and becomes reality before us – God’s gift of love for the whole creation is revealed in a special way, in liberating human beings from all that takes away our humanity. Baptism is as mysterious as life itself, neither a possession nor a thing to be counted or achieved, but a gift, freely given by our generous giving God.
You will need to consider Sponsors (Godparents) for your child. In fact, parents are the primary sponsors of any child who is baptised, since it is in the child’s home that the primary care and growth take place, physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. But it is customary to choose others to assist you with the task of encouraging your child to grow in the life of faith. They are helpful reminders that faith is not an individual matter, rather a sharing in the community of Christ. It is best to avoid making this simply a matter of honouring a particular friend or family member. Choose sponsors who will take an active interest in the spiritual development of your child. It is therefore expected that at least one of the parents and one sponsor have themselves been baptised.
At St. Martin’s Hawksburn, we baptise infants usually at the 10am Service on a Sunday. We also conduct some preparation for infant baptism which will help you feel more comfortable with what you are doing when you bring an infant to the church for baptism and we ask that you come to Sunday worship at least once prior to the Sunday of the baptism.
Please contact the Parish Office by email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have particular needs with regard to the date of the baptism of your child, it is important to avoid delay. You will be contacted by the Vicar who will arrange to meet with you. We look forward to meeting with you soon. We hope that you will join us for worship on Sunday mornings, and we offer to you our prayers that God’s gift of new life in your child may be a great blessing to you.