Baptism

 

 Being baptised at Gosforth St. Nicholas

We are very happy that you are thinking about Baptism/Christening for yourself or for your baby.

Baptism or Christening?

 They are the same! Often we call Baptism  “Christening”. The word  Christening links with “Christ” - it means “anointed” . Being christened or baptised is about becominglike Jesus: someone with love, forgiveness, hope, joy. God’s Holy Spirit promises to help us be like that for ourselves, our families and for other people. In Jesus God defeats evil and helps us work to build a community of love and care for all the world. We call that community the Church.

 If you want to find out more about the meaning of  Baptism  read on to the end of this page. (We hope you will!) But if you just want some  quick practicalities about Baptism at st. Nicholas  ....... here they are :

Can my baby be baptised ?

Yes! Ring the Vicar (0191 285 1326) who will visit you in your home and arrange things  with you.

When are Baptism Services at Gosforth St. Nicholas??

· You can  come to our Parish Eucharist on Sunday at 10.00 a.m.This service has hymns, a sermon and lasts about 70 minutes.

· Or you can ask for your baby to be baptised on a Sunday afternoon at 2.30 p.m. This is a simple Baptism Service without hymns lasting about 30 minutes.

You can  discussdetails  with the Vicar when he calls to see you.

 Must I worship regularly at Church first?

We would like you to come to Sunday 10 a.m. Eucharist at least two or  three times before your baby’s baptism. That way you will feel more at home. There is a Sunday School for older children. After Eucharist there is coffee and we love to meet new people.If your baby is being baptised on a Sunday afternoon we also ask that you come on the following Sunday to Parish Eucharist so that we canwelcomeyour baby  into the whole Church Family

 Who can be godparents?

A baby normally has at least three godparents. They should be  practising Christians.  God parents make the promises on behalf of the child and then pray for the child as s/he grows up so that s/he becomes a faithful member of the Christian Community.

What does Baptism cost?

Nothing!  Of course, we do ask you to think  about supporting the church so that we can offer God's love to others. You might like to think about making a regular covenant or Gift Aiding a donation (so we get more in back tax – free to you!).

I’ve not been confirmed—what can I do?

Join us for worship and have a word with the Vicar who will help you sort things out .

 Can an adult be baptised then?

Yes ! Have a word with the Vicar who will be delighted and discuss everything with you.

How do I contact the Vicar?

Ring Philip on 285 1326. He will be glad to visit you in your  home.

 

 

.... here's a bit more to explain what Baptism is all about .....

 

Baptism—a journey

Baptism is the beginning of a journey of faith. We travel on this journey with Jesus and with one another throughout our lives. Bit by bit we find prayer and worship more and more important in our lives. Bit by bit we discover what Jesus is asking us to do with our lives, with our daily work, with our family life and so on. Jesus wants us to be like Him so that everyone we meet can know God’s  love.

Joining Jesus’  Church

Baptism brings us into Christ’s community—the Church . Everyone is welcome. No one is excluded. In Jesus’ Church God’s Holy Spirit is at work to build a new way of life for everyone. Of course, sometimes, because Christians are as human as everyone else the Church gets things wrong. Thankfully , through worship, through the Bible and though prayer the Holy Spirit brings us back on track.

Marked with Jesus’ Cross

In Baptism we are marked with the Cross of Jesus. On the Cross Jesus fought against evil. He fought with the weapons of love. Jesus’  death was a victoryof love  over sin and death.Jesus committed himself totally to God. In the whole story of humanity no-one except Jesus has ever been so completely at one with God. So, even when people wanted to get Jesus out of the way he stayed firm. The result? His death. But  Jesus was raised to new life on Easter Day . He shares that new Easter life with us. In our Baptism we are marked with the Cross – a sign of love, a sign of victory, a sign of service and a sign of hope. The Cross is signed on us in oil—this is the anointing part of Baptism (the Christening).

In the first days of the Church people being baptised (all adults) stripped naked and were anointed with oil all over as a sign that they were totally committed to Jesus and that God would protect them as they journeyed with Jesus on the Way of the Cross.

 Risen with Christ

Originally people were baptised in rivers. Three times they were “buried” under the water—just as Jesus was buried in his tomb. In Baptism we die to our “old” sinful selves and are raised to new life  in Jesus. In  Baptism we start living God’s new Easter world now.

 Baptism then Confirmation

Normally when an adult is baptised it takes place at Eastertide and is  immediately followed by “Confirmation”. That is, the Bishop places hands on your head and “confirms” you in your new found faith, praying that you will be strengthened by the Holy spirit to be a faithful disciples of   Jesus to the end of your life.

 Why are babies baptised?

But what about babies? Have they “sinned”? In the sense of “doing wrong” no, of course not. But in the sense that all of us have it in us to mess up and hurt people the capacity for sin is within all of us. When a baby is baptised it’s a sign from God that we all of us need Jesus’ help. As a baby grows up it’s the responsibility of parents and godparents to bring the child to church, to teach him about Jesus, to help her learn to pray and to come to Confirmation when old enough so  as to make a  personal commitment to Jesus .

 Sharing the light of Jesus

The last part of Baptism is the giving of a candle lit from the big Easter Candle—the sign of Jesus’ victory over darkness and death. We always use candles at birthday parties. Baptism is our birth into Jesus. So we celebrate. In our baptism we share  Jesus’ victory over evil and death and shine as a light for all the world to see.