Baptism and Confirmation
What is Baptism?
The ritual of Baptism is the response to believing the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ. For more information on the gospel, see Key to Christianity.
In the very first sermon after Jesus’ resurrection Peter concludes:
‘Therefore, let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him (Jesus) both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ And the crowd ‘were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”’ (Acts 2:36-39 NRSV)
At St Tom’s we take seriously the instruction that all those who want to call on God are to repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, people who believe this ‘good news’ will be baptised as way of responding to God. Baptism also symbolises washing away an ‘old life’ (pre-conversion life) and being cleansed for a ‘new life’ (life now lived by faith in Christ). You can read more about this in Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:26-27,
2 Corinthians 5:15 and Galatians 2:20.
Are you seeking baptism?
Yes. Great! St Tom’s ministry team are more than happy to baptise people seeking this ritual. If you come seeking baptism, for yourself or your child, we want to meet with you to discuss what baptism means. We do this primarily by going through what the Scriptures say about baptism and through the Service of Baptism in the Anglican Prayer Book. We believe baptism is a joyous event symbolizing a person turning to God in repentance and being raised to new life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a significant declaration from the person being baptised or by the parents bringing their child for baptism. We want those being baptised to be clear about the what and the why of baptism.
Is there a cost?
No way! No one needs to pay money for the privilege to follow Christ. If you would like to make a donation to St Tom’s you are most welcome but baptism is freely available.
How is baptism performed at St Tom’s?
Typically for infants and children, warm water is poured over their head. We are also able to provide baptism by full immersion. This involves completely immersing a person, briefly, as a significant sign of their personal experience in turning to God and their new life in Christ. Full immersion is most appropriate for adults.
Setting a date
At the preparatory meeting the minister will explain the nature and significance of baptism and help you choose a date. Baptisms are typically done on a Sunday during a church service. Baptism is a celebratory public event and since baptism is a declaration, we encourage those being baptised to invite their friends and families.
A person who has previously been baptised will be Confirmed as a way of declaring their adult faith. This person would confirm the baptismal promises made on their behalf as a child/infant. In the Anglican Church, the bishop Confirms the candidate by laying hands upon them and praying for them.
When an adult is baptised, they may immediately be Confirmed if the bishop is present.
Is there a cost?
No, as with baptism, this is free.
When you’re ready to discuss baptism or confirmation please contact our ministry team or come to a Sunday Service. Don’t forget to let us know you’re seeking Baptism and or Confirmation, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.
Acts 2:38–39 (NRSV)