Baptism and Christening are the same thing. In this church, we use the word “Baptism”.
Who do I talk to?
If you are interested in baptism for your child, or for yourself, please contact the Rector.
When do baptisms happen?
Baptisms either take place within the main Sunday service at 10am, or separately at 2pm. The dates can get booked up, so yours may not be the only baptism in any particular service.
Who can be a Godparent?
A Godparent must have been baptised themselves. A boy needs at least two Godfathers, and at least one Godmother. A girl needs at least two Godmothers and at least one Godfather. Godparents help parents in the job of bringing up a Christian child – they help tell the stories and teach about Christianity, and they are often someone to whom a child can turn if they don’t want to discuss something with their parents. Being a Godparent is a responsible job!
What happens in the service?
The service normally lasts about 40 minutes. It will always have a Bible story, sometimes a poem, and then the person being baptised is introduced to the congregation. There are questions for everyone to answer, in which we all commit to support the person during their Christian journey, and the parents and Godparents make specific promises about bringing up the child to be part of the Christian community.
We continue by repenting of our sins, and renouncing evil, and then the person being baptised is marked on the forehead with the sign of the Cross. In this church, we use olive oil specially blessed by the Bishop for this, because it is a reminder that every person begin baptised is part of a much bigger community.
Next we go down to the font at the back of the church, and bless the water in it, ready for baptism. We make our profession of faith as Christians, and then the baptism happens. The water is warm, and there is a cloth for mopping up!
We return to our seats for prayers for the person who has been baptised, of their family, and for all Christians everywhere. Then some reminders and symbols of baptism are given to the person who has been baptised and to their Godparents.
We finish with a blessing for everyone – although we hope this isn’t the end of our relationship with you.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. £ 0.00 Zilch. Baptism is free. There are no fees.
Of course, if you want to make a donation to the work of St James’ Church, in Ludgershall and beyond, we’ll be delighted – and there will be a plate by the door, and gift aid envelopes in the pews. But you donate if and as you please, and as you leave. It doesn’t alter the service at all.
What is Baptism?
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God’s love. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ’s death for us. Our ‘drowning’ in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ’s dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus’ baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptized walks in that light for the rest of their lives.