Baptism at All Saints Ilkley
Baptism marks the first step of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives.
For all involved, particularly the candidate, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us, making serious promises and declaring our faith. It is also an opportunity for the community of All Saints’ Ilkley to welcome you and promise support and prayer for the future.
We are delighted when adults and children, after proper preparation, decide it is right for them or their children to be baptised.
Baptism of Children (Christening Service)
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.
Baptism is just the beginning of this. Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child.
- Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
- Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey
- Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
- Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
So baptism is a commitment to start as you mean to go on. In the service you, the parents, thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start your child on a journey of faith and your child’s godparents promise their help and support. The church also welcomes your child and to promises to pray for your family.
The Baptism Service
Baptism usually takes place in one of our regular Sunday services. This is so that your child can be welcomed into the family of the church. So to start with, we encourage you to come along and worship with us.
Part of the service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the Baptism itself, parents and godparents, sometimes family and friends too, will usually be asked to gather around the font. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.)
The person leading the service will ask the parents and godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child.
Making Decisions and Promises
When you bring your child for Baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of you and 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 you and your child’s behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ.
The declarations made by you and the child’s godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.
Symbols and actions used during the service
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:
- The sign of the cross - the minister will make the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and are not ashamed to stand up for their faith in him
- Water - the minister will pour water on your child’s head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with G
- The welcome - the church congregation will say some formal words of welcome to acknowledge that you child has joined the Church and to show how pleased they are to have you among the
- Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. You will be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child’s life.
After you’ve introduced yourself at church, we will send you a form to complete and a booklet to read entitled “Making the most of your child’s baptism”. We will also arrange a visit by one of our team where we watch and discuss a short DVD together called ‘First Steps’. We find that the preparation increases understanding about baptism and also helps families to get to know us. With infant baptism, parents and godparents have to make important promises before God.
If you feel like you cannot make the promises involved in the baptism service we would still love to celebrate with you the tremendous gift of your child in a thanksgiving service.
Choosing Godparents for your child is exciting and a lovely way of drawing special friends into your family. A Godparent’s role is about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of their local church. Godparents make the promises in the service to help to bring the child up in the Christian faith. It is a role that will grow over time as their godchild grows and develops in their own faith. They receive a certificate to confirm their new role.
Please note that your chosen Godparents need to have been baptised themselves before your child’s baptism.
Congratulations on being asked to be a godparent. They are very important people! We know that your friends or relations will have thought hard about this. They have chosen you to be a special person in their child’s life, someone who will offer encouragement, prayer and support for the child, and help them discover more about the Christian faith as they grow up.
If you feel like you cannot make the promises involved in the baptism service we would still love to celebrate with you the tremendous gift of your child in a thanksgiving service. In this service we thank God for your child and pray for God’s blessing for him or her. You can have supporting friends who can be part of the service too, but neither you nor they are required to make any promises concerning the Christian faith.
It is a privilege to baptise young people and adults if they have not been baptised before. No-one is too old to be baptised. If you are interested in being baptised as an adult, please contact………………… We would love to hear from you.
The church of England website has lots of information on baptisms here
If you are interested in being baptised or having your child baptised we would love to hear from you. Please contact our baptism co-ordinator……………… You could also chat informally with any of our clergy or other church leaders when you come to church for services.
There is more information on baptisms on other websites too:
Frequently Asked Questions