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A Church of the Caterham Team Ministry: Caterham Deanery - Diocese of Southwark - Church of England
Baptisms

Baptism is a response to God’s love – a desire and a commitment to respond to God’s call to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that you are loved by God, are part of a wider community and have a place with God’s people.

Traditionally people were baptised as babies and, at the same time, officially given their ‘Christian name’. Godparents represent the baby and make promises on his or her behalf, but children are often baptised later in childhood and many adults, who were not baptised when young, opt to do so later on when they are old enough to understand and make the promises for themselves.

You can read the Service of Holy Baptism in full on the church of England Website. As and adult being baptized, you are referred to as a ‘candidate’ throughout the service and all the parts that refer to a child, parents and godparents aren’t included. The vicar will make these adjustments.

Christenings

During a christening your child will be baptised with water. It’s the start of an amazing journey of faith for your child and a special day for all your friends and family.. If you would like to have your child christened at St Mary’s please contact the office. In the meantime there is plenty of useful information for parents and godparents here:

https://churchofenglandchristenings.org

Adult baptism

You may have been going to church for a while and want to make a more definite commitment in terms of your Christian faith. For adults and young people, baptism usually takes place shortly before, or at the same time, as confirmation. Confirmation is the service when those who have previously been baptized affirm their promises and are specially prayed for by a Bishop.

The adult baptism service is similar to the service for a child’s baptism, except that there is no role for parents or godparents because you make the decision and the promises yourself.

You may decide to have supporting friends or ‘sponsors’ – this can be anyone who wishes to encourage you in your Christian faith. It may be a friend, or someone in your family and you may have more than one person if you wish.

At St Mary’s we are lucky enough to have a beautiful font where the holy water is poured over the head of the ‘candidate’. This represents Jesus’ sacrifice washing away our human sin and symbolises the beginning of your new spiritual life.

To prepare for your baptism and/or confirmation you will be invited to attend meetings or events in the church to help you think about this new beginning.

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