How the Church Understands Baptism
Baptism marks a significant moment, both in the life of the child or adult candidate, and in the life of the church community, family and friends. Baptism celebrates a new beginning as a member of Christ’s body, the Church. Baptism immerses us in the new life given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. When we come for baptism we are saying “yes” to God’s love and desire for us to belong to the community of God’s people.
Who is involved?
Parents bear the main responsibility for a child’s well-being. In the baptism service you will be asked whether you are willing to accept the responsibilities of Christian parenthood. You will be asked to make a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ.
Godparents have an important role, and should be chosen with care. They are to help with the Christian upbringing of their godchild. They should understand and accept the responsibilities they undertake. Godparents or sponsors do not need to be Anglicans, but they must be baptised themselves, and they should be practising Christians who are, ideally, worshipping members of a church.
The Church is the community of faith to which the baptised belong. This community helps parents and godparents with the responsibilities of raising their children as active members of the church and nurtures all candidates by prayer and fellowship as they grow in their faith.
Baptismal preparation is intended to provide an informal environment to explore the Christian faith and to understand the promises being made at Baptism. Baptismal preparation is arranged before the date of each Baptism through an appointment with one of the parish clergy. If you wish to proceed with the Baptism, arrangements will be made for preparation and a walk through of the Order of Service.
The Baptism Service
Baptisms can be arranged to occur during the Sunday or other weekday services or at a time that you prefer by agreement with the priest in charge at St Peter’s Hamilton. Baptisms are not celebrated during the season of Lent – a period of fasting and prayer in preparation for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at Easter – a more appropriate time for baptism. Lent in 2021 is from 17th February to 3rd April. Lent in 2022 is from 2nd March to 16th April.
There is no fee for baptism; however, we invite you to make a thank-offering for the work of the parish. An envelope is provided and this can be placed in the offertory bowl at the Baptism Service.
Applications (download pdf here) can be submitted by post to:
Christ Church Cathedral Parish Office
PO Box 221
Newcastle NSW 2300