Baptisms

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Babies, children and adults may all be baptised. The first step is a discussion with our minister, Reverend Helen Kirk. Telephone: 01296 488963, Email: revhelenkirk@sky.com. Involved in some of the liaison with families is our Cradle Roll secretary Dee Murisa, (photo bottom right).

According to the Methodist Worship Book, baptism (or Christening) marks entry into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, of which the Methodist Church is part. The Methodist Church, like most denominations of the Christian Church, administers the sacrament to both adults and young children.

Is there an alternative to baptism for our child?

Some people choose to have an Act of Thanksgiving after the Birth or Adoption of a Child.

How do we go about getting our child baptised?

Parents wishing to have their children baptised should approach their local Methodist minister at the earliest possible moment. The minister will be able to explain what's involved. This may involve, in some cases, parents being willing to undertake a number of instruction sessions.

Do different denominations have different baptisms?

There is one baptism, which is recognised by all the mainstream Churches that baptise infants, including the Methodist Church and the Church of England.

Can you be baptised as a child and as an adult — for instance if you return to the Church after a break?

In the Methodist Church baptism as an infant would normally be followed by confirmation and reception into membership at the point where the person wishes to take on the commitment and responsibility of Christian discipleship for themselves and to play a full part in the life of the Church.

This is best summed up in the Methodist Worship Book: "In Confirmation, those who have been baptised declare their faith in Christ and are Strengthened by the Holy Spirit for continuing discipleship. Confirmation reminds us that we are baptised and that God continues to be at work in our lives: we respond by affirming that we belong to Christ and to the whole People of God. At a Service of Confirmation, baptised Christians are also received into membership of the Methodist Church and take their place as such in a local congregation."

There is no obvious difference in understanding, for example, between the Methodist Church and the Church of England about Confirmation itself. However, the Church of England does not have any strong sense of "membership" of the Church of England (so, for example, there is no transfer of membership when a person moves from one area to another).

More information
All This For You: The meaning of baptism in the Methodist Church is available available from Methodist Publishing — Ref PA186 for £3.50. www.methodistpublishing.org.uk.

All This for You is a pocket-sized book for people who want to think about the meaning of baptism in the Methodist Church. Using vivid images and inspiring prose, it opens up the depths of meaning contained in the signs and symbols of the Methodist Church's Baptism Service.

Beautiful and reflective, it includes:

  • thoughtful text which is easy to read for those not familiar with 'churchy' language;
  • quotes from familiar prayers hymns and choruses;
  • extracts from the Methodist Worship Book to guide the reader through the Baptism Service;
  • an explanation of the Service of Thanksgiving to help parents decide which is more appropriate.
    Just 44 pages long and in colour throughout, All This for You is for:
  • -parents of babies or small children, who are considering bring them to be baptised;
  • -godparents who are supporting those parents
  • -young people and adults who have not yet been baptised but are considering it for themselves
  • -all baptised members of the Church, who want to reflect on what Baptism means.

However, usually the best first step is to contact Helen.