Infant or Child Baptism
Baptism is when we become a member of the church. Whether we are infants, children or adults we are all baptised into membership and that baptism admits us, not just to our own congregation, but to every congregation of Christ’s church.
As adults we make promises ourselves but as little children and infants our parents make promises for us. As part of the service parents are asked: “In presenting your child for baptism, desiring that she may be grafted into Christ as a member of his body the Church, do you receive the teaching of the Christian faith which we confess in the Apostles’ Creed?”
After the child has been baptised, parents are then asked:“Do you promise, depending on the grace of God, to teach your child the truths and duties of the Christian faith and by prayer and example to bring her up in the life and worship of the church?”
Children who are baptised are members of the church but it is only when they are old enough to answer these questions for themselves that they can make their own response to God and are confirmed into full membership. This allows them to vote at church meetings or to become an elder. We no longer specify an age for this since children reach maturity in their own time.
The Church requires that at least one of the parents requesting baptism for their child should be a member of the church, or at least be considering membership. The second promise will be kept, we hope, by coming to church and taking part in the life of the congregation. The congregation also makes a promise to welcome your child and support you as a family.
If you would like a service to bless and welcome your child into the world without the commitment of church membership we can offer a special service for this. Please discuss your hopes and requirements with the minister.