We are delighted that you are thinking about bringing your child to St Augustine’s for baptism, and starting their journey of faith. Baptism is an important and serious event, and you are bringing your child to become part of the worldwide church family.
If you are an adult looking to be baptised, you can find information by clicking here.
What you need to know?
- Baptisms take place during our Family Service at 11am on the second Sunday of the following months: March, May, June, July and September. Dates for 2020 are: 8th March, 10th May, 14th June, 12th July and 13th September.
- We run baptism preparation classes on a Sunday morning from 9.30am. This will include an opportunity to attend a Sunday service to familiarise yourselves with Sunday worship, and to explore what baptism is all about with the ministry team and members of the congregation. Please be aware that you will be required to attend a baptism class before the date of the baptism is confirmed.
- A baptism application form will be sent to you after your initial enquiry. This is used for filling in the baptism registers and to help with preparation, and will include details of the child to be baptised, parents and godparents. Please do be in touch if you have any queries regarding filling in the application form.
- If you do not live in the parish of Even Swindon (Rodbourne), you need to have a qualifying connection to St Augustine’s in order to have your child baptised here. Examples of qualifying connections are: you’ve had a previous child baptised here, there is a strong family connection to the church.
- Once the date of baptism is confirmed, a member of our ministry team (usually the priest taking the service) will arrange a visit between the preparation class and the baptism.
- Some other frequently asked questions can be found by clicking here.
What is Baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life, deciding to start your child on the journey of faith, and asking for the Church’s support. For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Baptism is a ‘sacrament’: a visible sign of God’s love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.
More information about what happens in the service can be found by clicking here.
Making decisions and promises
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You will be asked to answer on your child’s behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and to turn instead towards Christ.
The declarations made by you and the child’s godparents will be made in front of the church congregation, who will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.
The role of godparents
Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.
You should have at least three godparents: usually, this is two of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender. Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child’s spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child. They must be baptised themselves. If they are not baptised, it is possible for them to be baptised at the same service.
You may wish to ask your parish priest about having a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child instead. In this service, you thank God for the gift of your child and the child is blessed. You do not make the same promises as in the Baptism service. If you choose to have a Thanksgiving, you may also have a Baptism service for your child at a later date.