Baptism/ Christening

Baptism (often called Christening) is about being united to Christ and joining the family of God. We are a pilgrim people, so in baptism we commit ourselves to that exciting spiritual journey into the heart of God.  We use the word ‘baptism‘ to remind ourselves us that we are washed in water. We use ‘christening‘ as a reminder that we anointed with oil to be Christ-like people. Both words refer to the same service. The first baptisms at Stoke almost certainly took place in the river Trent which is just a few hundred metres behind Stoke Minster (although it is now hidden in a culvert). 010However for the last thousand years the Anglo-Saxon font in Stoke Minster has been used. The service is available for all who wish to respond to the love of God we see in Jesus. It is a ceremony that is available to all, regardless of language, nationality, sex, or age. In Acts 10 we hear how St Peter baptized the whole family of Cornelius, the Roman solder. In Acts 16 Paul baptizes all the family of a prison warder. The Church of England follows the New Testament in excluding  no one from God’s love. Baptism in water in the name of the Trinity joins us, not to one particular church, but to the whole of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

If you want your child baptized, then come to the church on a Sunday afternoon between 12.30 – 1.00 p.m, or contact us, and we will be please to discuss arrangements. More details are available on our baptism-sheet. For those who are older, we run a preparation course to help candidates make an informed decision about being joined to Christ and his Church.

The Shape of the Baptism Service is:

  • There is a Welcome
  • A Biblical reading and talk
  • The Candidates are presented.
  • The Decision I turn to Christ.
  • The Signing with the Cross in the forehead with holy oil: “Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of the cross.
  • The Blessing of the Water: “Now send your Spirit upon this water, that those who are washed in it may share Christ‟s death and resurrection,”
  • The Profession of Faith: “This the faith of the Church.
    This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God,
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” 
  • The Baptism: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Commission
  • Prayers
  • The WelcomeBaptism 3
  • The giving of a lighted candle:You have received the light of Christ; walk in this light all the days of your life.
    All Shine as a light in the world
    to the glory of God the Father.

In the Bible there is often a laying on of hands associated with baptism. In the Church of England, the rite of Confirmation follows baptism. The candidates have a time of preparation. In the Confirmation service the candidates repeat their promises (which may have been said on their behalf if baptized as children). The Bishop then lays hands on each candidate praying that the Holy Spirit may rest on them. He then anoints them with the Chrism oil and welcomes them as a member of the church.

Another Gospel imprint leaflet explaining baptism is also available here. You can also find a leaflet explaining confirmation here. If you want to find out more about joining the Church of England please contact us.


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