What is baptism?
Baptism is the first step on a journey of faith. Through baptism we become part of the community of the church.
Who can be baptised?
Anyone can be baptised, at any age. When a baby is baptised, parents and godparents make promises on his or her behalf. Older children and adults make those promises for themselves and are usually confirmed by the bishop at the same time.
We will be delighted to discuss baptism with you if you live or worship in Branscombe, Colyford, Colyton, Musbury or Southleigh. If you have strong personal links with this area, we will explore the possibility of baptism with you, in consultation with your local parish church.
Is there a fee for baptism?
No – there is no fee.
When does the service take place?
Baptisms often take place within the context of Sunday worship, so that the newly baptised can be welcomed by the wider church community. However, in some circumstances baptism may be arranged outside the Sunday service. We will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.
What happens in the service?
The most important moment in baptism is at the font, when water is poured onto the person being baptised.
In the baptism service we declare our faith in God and our trust in his love, and we promise to follow Jesus. The sign of the cross is made on the forehead of the person to be baptised. At the end of the service, the newly baptised is given a candle, reminding us all that Jesus is the light of the world.
Godparents and sponsors
When a baby or young child is baptised godparents are chosen to play a special part in his or her life. Together with the parents, they are asked to promise that they will encourage their godchild in the Christian faith by prayer, example and teaching.
Godparents must have been baptised themselves. Older children or adults who wish to be baptised invite family or close friends to act as sponsors – people who will support them in their journey of faith.
Services of thanksgiving
You may feel that you want to give thanks for the birth of a new baby, but are not ready to make the promises associated with baptism. Or, you might want to leave your child to make the decision to be baptised when he or she is older. At a Service of Thanksgiving there is an opportunity to give thanks for the life of your new baby and to receive a prayer of blessing.
The minister who baptises you or your child will meet you and ensure that you are prepared for the service. If you don’t attend church regularly we will be delighted to welcome you at services before the baptism so that you can get to know people in the church community.
After the Baptism
If your baby or child is baptised at a special service and not in the regular Sunday worship, we always invite you to come to an all age service soon afterwards. This means that you and your family can be welcomed into the life of the church.
We hope that baptism is the beginning of a long and happy relationship with the Christian community in the Holyford Mission Community. We will be delighted to keep in touch with you and to welcome you to the services and activities which take place here.
Find out more
To find out more and arrange a baptism service, please contact the Rector, Revd Hilary Dawson in the first instance.