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"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."

Baptism Policy

This policy follows the Canons of the Church of England and was agreed by St James’s PCC

on 6th June 2022.

 

What is Baptism?

Baptism is a Christian sacrament of admission and adoption and celebrated by the Church. The Sacrament of Baptism is an act of worship and will take place during the regular worship service. It is a visible sign of God’s grace.

 

When children are baptized, parents make a commitment on their behalf. Inherent in infant or child’s baptism is the expectation that the children will confirm their faith when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.

 

Parents should have a sincere interest in the church and be committed to raising their child in the Christian faith by bringing them to worship and being an active part of the community of faith.

Child Baptism

  1. Any parent residing in the parish can request baptism or “christening” for their child at St James Church.

  2. Baptisms take place at 12 noon on Sundays, or by special arrangement with the vicar.

  3. A family asking for baptism who live outside the parish must inform the Vicar of their own parish and should only proceed with his or her goodwill (Canon B23.5).

  4. Baptism preparation involves a meeting with the Vicar explaining the service and the commitment it entails, alongside contact with a lay member of the congregation. The Baptism cannot take place without this preparation.

Godparents

  1. Godparents must be 16 years or over and themselves be baptized (Canon B.23.4).

  2. The name of a Godparent can still be entered in the Baptism register if for good reason they cannot attend the service.

  3. A Godparent can, if desired, be represented by a “proxy” at the service if they are unable to attend.

  4. If an unbaptized person is not willing to be baptized before the service at which they wish to be a Godparent, they cannot be a Godparent or be entered into the register as such.

Adult Baptism

  1. Adult candidates for baptism should normally receive preparation arranged with the Vicar.

  2. All adult candidates for baptism should be reminded of the requirement to consider Confirmation as well as baptism (Canons B23 and B24).

  3. Adult candidates should have a “sponsor” who replies as a parent or godparent in the baptism service. The term “sponsor” describes a supporting person for an adult candidate for baptism and confirmation and should not be used in conjunction with a child candidate.

  4. The same rules (5-8) that apply to Godparents apply to sponsors.