There is One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is overall, through all and in all.
Ephesians 4 vv 5-6
What is Baptism?
Baptism is an important commitment which either an adult makes to God or a parent makes on behalf of their child, acknowledging that they will bring them up in the Christian faith they say that they hold. The service of baptism for a child can sometimes be called a Christening. Baptism is a commitment in which someone says (or parents say on behalf of a child) that they turn away from sin and come to Jesus, and acknowledge Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is when someone becomes a member of the Church.
Baptism is an incredible gift from God, it shows His love for us, and that anyone can turn to Him and receive a fresh start - a new life which will last for eternity. It is God's great gift to His Church and a joy for us.
I'd like to find out more
If you feel that you would like to find out more about the Christian faith or any aspect of baptism then please do be in touch with us. We will always arrange an opportunity for you to meet with someone and ask any questions or find out a bit more.
We run two baptism preparation sessions for parents of children being baptised which we ask parents to attend before the date of the baptism. We will run each of the two sessions a fortnight apart every other month. We ask that parents attend both of the sessions before the date of baptism.
The baptism preparation sessions are led by a member of the clergy and a trained baptism visitor (you can see who they are at the bottom of this page). The sessions will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about baptism or the Christian faith and to find out a bit more about the commitments which parents make during baptism.
I'm not sure I'm ready to make the commitment of baptism
You might prefer to hold a thanksgiving for the birth of your child. This is a wonderful chance to offer thanks to God for your new arrival in a church service and ask for His help in raising your child. If you chose to hold a thanksgiving for your child then it doesn't mean they cannot be baptised at a future date when you are able to keep the promises you're making, or they are able to make the promises for themselves. thanksgivings are always held during a 10am service. We'd be happy to chat to you about this more if you would be interested in a thanksgiving.
Baptism is a big commitment. You will make some big promises to God on behalf of your child, and commit to raising them as a Christian. If at any stage in arranging a baptism, from the initial meeting to attending baptism preparation, you feel that the time isn't right please say something! We'll be happy to chat to you about what you're feeling and your questions.
How do I arrange a Baptism?
If you wish to make the commitment of baptism on behalf of your child or for yourself the first step is to join us at church on Sunday for a regular 10am service or at the 5 o'clock gathering to chat a little bit about baptism with a member of the clergy. Please also contact our office who will send you some information about baptism so you can think through whether this is a commitment you wish to make - it also means we know to keep an eye out for you on Sunday!
Once you've met us in church please contact the office again; we'll discuss dates with you and arrange for you to be booked on to the next baptism preparation course which you would be able to make. (Please be aware that you will need to allow enough time to attend the next preparation evenings before any preferred date you may have).
Baptism Preparation Session Dates & practicalities
Sessions are usually held in "odd numbered months" (i.e. January, March etc.) roughly 2 weeks apart. These are held in the Pastoral Centre with coffee from 7.45pm. We start promptly at 8pm and end by 9.30pm. We ask both parents to attend if at all possible. You are very welcome to bring your baby with you, and we understand if you are breastfeeding that this could well be a necessity, but please be aware we cannot offer crèche facilities.
When do Baptisms happen?
At St Nicolas most of our baptisms happen during a regular service at 10 o'clock traditional morning prayer on the first Sunday of the month. We also offer a service of baptism at 12 noon for some months.
As a person becomes a member of the Church in baptism we would strongly encourage you to choose a baptism date during a regular service. Although we leave the choice between these services to you, we do try to limit the number of candidates on any given Sunday to two families. In the case of older children and adults wanting to be baptised we tend to encourage baptism at a service of confirmation when one the local bishops is present.
When you meet us
We want you to feel truly welcome when you come to join us in church. Baptism is about becoming a member of the Church family - Christian life was never intended to be lived alone! So that you know who to look out for we've put up the photos of the clergy to talk to and our Baptism Visitors. We have hot drinks after the 10am service and time to chat over tea and cake before and after the 5 o'clock Gathering. We would encourage you to join us for this time of fellowship and to meet some more members of the church as well as those you need to speak to about arranging a baptism.
Every family who arranges a baptism with us will always have a Baptism Visitor assigned to them, as well as the minister who will be baptising your child. This person will support you in the run up to Baptism and be there with you on the day as well.
They'll give you a bit more information about life at St Nicolas and help you to find your role in the life of the Church family. Any of us would also be more than happy to chat to you a bit about this - please just ask!