Baptism

Both children and adults can be baptised. Please contact the Church Office or Vicar to discuss your needs.

Notes for parents enquiring about having their children baptised at St Anne's.

These notes have been written to inform parents and godparents about what baptism means and what is involved in having your child baptised. It answers some of the common questions people ask. However if you have any further questions, or just want to talk to someone about baptism, then please contact the vicar or the church office. We will be very pleased to hear from you and do our best to help.

Adult baptism is available for those who were not baptised as children. Since an adult can answer for themselves, there is no role for parents or godparents.

What is baptism?

  • Baptism is the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. It is the first step in response to God’s love for us.
  • Baptism is a commitment to following the way of Jesus Christ.
  • Baptism is birth - being born into God's family, the Church.
  • Baptism is a celebration - of our receiving God's free offer of life and forgiveness to everyone through Jesus Christ.
  • Baptism is not a naming ceremony. Your child already has his or her name.
  • Baptism is not a way of getting your child into heaven.
  • Baptism will not make any difference to your child’s behaviour/health/etc.
  • Baptism is not even a service of thanksgiving to God for your child. There is such a service available and we can arrange that if you wish.

Baptism is the way that anyone (adult or child) can become part of the Church, those people who seek to follow the way of Jesus Christ.

Adults being baptised make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. With babies, baptism is carried out on the strength of the faith of the parents and godparents, who make the commitments on behalf of the baby. You will be promising to ‘draw him/her by your example into the community of faith’ and to ‘help him/her to take their place in the life and worship of Christ’s Church’.

In the baptism service, you will be asked a number of questions about your own faith and about how you intend to bring up your child as a Christian. These questions should not be taken lightly and you should think carefully about them before agreeing to go ahead with your child’s baptism.

What is the difference between baptism and Christening?

Nothing! They are simply two words for the same ceremony. Although many people refer to a‘christening’, the correct (and more ancient) term is ‘baptism’, which comes from a Greek word which means ‘to immerse someone (or something) in water’.

What promises do the parents and godparents make?

  • To set an example in the Christian life for your child to follow.
  • To pray regularly for and with your child.
  • To help them to learn about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • To encourage them to join with you in taking part in the life of the Church, especially through attending services.

Can we have our child baptised at St Anne's?

If you live in Bagshot or are on the Electoral Roll of St Anne’s Church, you have the right to have your child baptised at St Anne’s.

If you do not live in the parish but have strong links with Bagshot or St Anne’s, we are normally happy to arrange a baptism for you. If you are in any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact the Vicar.

When can we have our child baptised?

Each year, we arrange a number of Baptism services at St Anne’s. Many will be part of our normal Sunday morning service, at 10 am. Some are done at special Baptism services at 12 noon on Sunday. When you contact the Church Office or the Vicar, you will be given the list of available dates, from which you can choose the date most suitable.

So that we can look after each family, we limit the number of children who are baptised at any service. Thus once a date has been fully booked, it will not be possible to add any further baptisms on that day. Sometimes it may be necessary to wait a few months before there is a free date for a baptism.

Will there be other families at the same baptism service?

Very often.

We plan for two (or occasionally three) children to be baptised per service. Because of the increasing demand for baptisms at St Anne’s, we are unable to guarantee individual baptism services.

If you have difficulties fitting in with the dates suggested, it MAY be possible to arrange an alternative date in conjunction with the Vicar.

How long will the service last?

If the baptism is part of our 10 am service, the whole service will last a little over one hour. This will include hymns and Holy Communion. If you and your guests do not regularly receive the bread and wine at Holy Communion, you will still be very welcome to come forward to the altar at the time of the communion and receive a blessing.

If the baptism is at noon, the service will last about 30 minutes. This service does not have hymns nor does it include Holy Communion.

What are the rules about godparents?

Normally, you should choose three godparents, two of whom should be of the same gender as the child, but it is sufficient to have one godfather and one godmother. All godparents should be baptised members of their church and at least one should be confirmed.

Parents may be godparents to their own child as long as there is at least one other godparent. Church Law requires that godparents are chosen with care because they undertake important obligations concerning the child's spiritual development in the Christian faith.

What do godparents do?

Part of the responsibility of a godparent is to make sure, with the parents, that the child being baptised is taught the Christian faith as he or she grows up.

Teaching has to be supplemented by example. The way in which parents and godparents live as Christians will profoundly affect the child, who should learn from looking at the lives of his or her parents and godparents - how they worship God, how they pray and how they live their lives in obedience to Jesus Christ.

Finally, the godparents undertake to pray for the child. Prayer is something we easily forget - yet it can be one of the most important things in the world.

How do we arrange a baptism?

Initially you should contact St Anne’s Church Office.. Our Baptism Co-ordinator will then make sure that you have the necessary information and will discuss with you the possible dates. For straightforward applications, a firm date can probably be made immediately. You will be asked to complete an information sheet.

How many guests can we invite?

We have no limits on the number of guests you invite to the baptism service. We will ask you for an estimate of the number of guests who will be coming, so that we can ensure sufficient pews are reserved for them.

The last part of the baptism (the giving of the lit candle) occurs at the end of the service. Thus guests should remain in the church until the service has ended.

Can we book the Church Centre for a reception or party afterwards?

Our Church Centre, attached to the church, is an ideal venue for a reception afterwards. When you book your baptism, please ask the Church Office about the availability of the Centre.

If the Centre is already booked, it may be possible to book the Parish Hall, which is situated further down Church Road and would also be suitable for such parties.

Can we take photos or have the service videoed?

Out of consideration for others in the congregation, we ask that cameras and videos be used after the service, but not during it.

What is a thanksgiving and how does that differ from a baptism?

One way of thanking God for the gift of a new baby is in the form of a Thanksgiving Service. This does not require you to make any promises, nor to make any declarations of Christian faith. The priest asks for God's favour on your child, in the same way that, when mothers brought their children to Jesus, He took them in His arms and blessed them.

If you are not ready to make the strong promises that are required for baptism, then we understand and respect this, and would suggest that you request a service of Thanksgiving. If you take this option now, your child can still be baptised at a later date.

Is there a fee?

We charge no fee for a baptism service.

However, most families want to make a donation to the church. If you are a UK taxpayer, then we recommend placing your donation in one of the yellow Gift Aid envelopes that can be found in the pews and then completing the details on the envelope. This will enable us to reclaim tax from the Inland Revenue.

Can we choose hymns?

If your baptism is taking place within a 10 am service, you will be asked if you have any preferences for hymns for the service. If you have, these will be passed to our organist who will endeavour to include them in the service. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all your choices will be included.

Do we have to come to church before the baptism?

We encourage families to come to St Anne’s for at least one service before the baptism. This helps you to discover more about the life of our church and enables you to meet some of the people who regularly attend the services. It will also help you to feel more relaxed during the baptism service.

Although you are always welcome at any of our services, we suggest that our All Age Worship service on the first Sunday in each month is probably the best service to attend on the first occasion.

What preparation do we have to do before the baptism?

Once the baptism has been booked, the Vicar will be in contact with you to arrange an evening when he can visit your home. During this time, he will play a 20 minute DVD about baptism and will be happy to talk through with you the meaning of baptism and to deal with any questions you may have about the service.

What happens afterwards?

Baptism is not the end but is really just the start. It is the beginning of a journey of discovering more about God and of learning what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. After your child’s baptism, you may like to think about some or all of the following:
  • Bringing your child to services, especially at times like Easter and Christmas.
  • Bringing your child to be part of our Sunday School when he or she is the right age.
  • Praying with your child regularly. You might consider buying one of the many books of prayers for children that are available.
  • Remembering the baptism each year by lighting the baptismal candle on the anniversary.
  • Encouraging your child towards confirmation when he or she is the right age.
  • Encouraging your child to live in a way that pleases God by teaching them values such as honesty, kindness, gentleness, and humility.
  • Helping your child to know the 3 main texts of the Christian faith.
  • Our Faith
  • Events Diary
  • Regular Worship

What it means to be a Christian.

Christian life is lived in relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and in common with other Christians in the church seeking to deepen that relationship and to follow the way that Jesus taught.

For Christians God is understood and known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

…Father… God is love, caring for creation and for every human being as God's beloved child.

…Son… God is as he has revealed himself to be in the historical person of Jesus Christ. Jesus' life, death and resurrection holds the key to knowing and loving God, and to making sense of life, before and after death.

…and Holy Spirit… God is alive, loving and active today, inspiring faith, justice and truth, sustaining the life of the world, giving spiritual gifts to the church and bearing his spiritual fruit in the world - changed lives and a transformed society.

For details of services please see our Worship - Services page.

For details and variations please see the calendar in our Worship - Services page.

 

 

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The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer was given to us by Jesus as a pattern for our own praying, as well as being a prayer that we can say for ourselves. It teaches us that heaven is open to our prayers and that the world is open to the gracious working of God.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The summary of the Law

These few words help us to understand how we are to live as human beings in God's world. They are given not to condemn us but to show us how, by the grace of God, we may live as free people reflecting the goodness and love of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

The second is this:
Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

The Beatitudes - Blessing the Gospel

These are words from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In them, Jesus declares the blessings of God's kingdom. He gives us a vision of a world redeemed by love, and shows us the qualities of discipleship which will bring about that transformation.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


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