St Johns East Malvern

Baptism

Baptism definitively marks entry into Christian identity – but it is also, in many ways, only a beginning. Baptism initiates a lifelong journey of searching and questioning, contending with evil and injustice, giving love and showing mercy, and discovering with joy the unfolding mysteries of God.

Why bring our children for baptism?

Parents make many decisions for their children without their consent or understanding. We give food and medicine because we want them to be healthy. We make decisions about their schooling in the hope they will value ideas and develop certain qualities. Children cannot decide for themselves what language to speak, until they know enough language to be able to make up their own minds. We hold our children’s hopes and dreams in trust for a time, until they can make decisions of their own.

We bring children for baptism in the same mind, believing they can enter into the mystery of a relationship with God long before conscious commitments are possible. Baptising children is an expression of our confidence that the full blessings of God will be active in their lives as they grow and mature. It signifies our desire that each child will develop spiritually, as well as physically, in the way of Jesus and his Church.

For a child to grow up believing they are wanted and loved by God from the moment of their birth is one of the most wonderful gifts we can give our children.

Read more on bringing our children to baptism

Adult Baptism

The preparation of adults for baptism is generally a more involved process than that for children, where faithful sponsors will spend many years nurturing their godchildren in the Christian faith. Adults will need to consider their own following of Jesus and their relationship with the Church, and develop a basic understanding of scripture and theology, prayer and reflection. Traditionally, adults begin preparation for baptism during the season of Lent, in anticipation of baptism on Easter day.

Read more on adult baptism

Godparents

Godparents accept a particular responsibility for helping children to journey in faith and enter the life of the church. In the case of young children, this may take many years. Godparents, therefore, should be chosen with great care. They do not need to be Anglicans but must be baptised themselves and ought be worshipping members of a Christian congregation.

Read more on the role and responsibilities of godparents

When do Baptisms take place?

Baptism involves the whole Christian community and baptisms are usually celebrated at the main Sunday Eucharist at 9.30am. Alternative arrangements may be possible in exceptional circumstances, after discussion with the Parish clergy. Baptisms are scheduled to coincide with major church festivals where the themes of baptism are especially pertinent or highlighted. Outside these times, baptism generally occur on the last Sunday of each month. They are not usually performed at all during Lent (six weeks prior to Easter), or at the 9.30am Eucharist in Advent (four weeks prior to Christmas).

What to do I do next?

It is good practice to allow around six weeks notice for an upcoming baptism, except in emergencies. Please contact the Vicar directly to begin making arrangements.

 

Telephone 0431 308 703
Email: vicar@saintjohns.org.au 

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