Baptism Services

A Service Of Initiation

As Jesus commanded his followers to baptise all people who believed in him (Matthew 28:20), baptism at St. John’s is a service of initiation into the Christian faith. Both children and adults can be baptised here.

Baptisms At St John's

Welcome To God's World

The birth of each child is a unique moment of expectation:  new life, new love, new hope.  It is right that you want to welcome your little one into the world amongst family and friends, and to seek God’s blessing on his or her life. At its core, this is what baptism is, and it is the Church’s great privilege to give voice to this blessing through baptism — a ritual bath with water, given in the name of the Christian God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are pleased to welcome you.

Is Baptism Right For Us?

Baptism is not simply a rite of welcoming.  Baptism brings a person into church membership and thus requires from parents and godparents a declaration of Christian faith and a promise to bring up your child in that faith.  These vows are solemn; they hold the same kind of importance as marriage vows, and “are not to be entered into lightly or thoughtlessly”.  Once baptised, a person will then be recognised as a part of the church community for the rest of his or her life.

The Parishes of Maindee & Lliswerry truly wish to support you in this decision.  Naturally, we understand what a juggling act it is to raise a family, and we know that some will have doubts about committing to regular Sunday worship.  That said, in baptism, you are asking us to declare that your child is one of our people, and in return we are asking you, with our support, to honour that declaration in some meaningful way.

Baptism FAQ

The basic shape of the service is a welcome and opening prayer, a reading from scripture, a few words from the priest, the administration of baptismal vows, the baptism itself, and the presentation of the newly-baptised person(s) with a few symbols of the Christian faith.  The service concludes with a blessing.

The ideal is to conduct baptisms within the church’s main worship, so that the regular congregation can welcome the newly-baptised, and pledge their support to stand with you as you raise your little one in the Christian faith.  That said, families often find that a stand-alone service is more practical, particularly if there are a large number of guests.  We normally conduct baptisms at 12:30 in St. John’s.  For baptisms in Lliswerry, please contact us.

There is no set rule.  It is never too early, nor too late.  Although parents tend to bring children for baptism mid-way through their first year, we have baptised people from 3 days old to adulthood.  It’s not unusual for more than one child in a family — or even a parent — to be baptised together.  If a child has grown old enough to know his or her own mind, the priest will wish to confirm that the child is happy to be baptised and has a general understanding of what will be happening.

Yes, of course!  From the very beginning, Christians welcomed adult converts.  If you have not previously been baptised and wish to join the Christian Church, then please let us know.  Perhaps, as an unbaptised parent, you might find it appropriate to join the Church as your child does.  Perhaps you need to be baptised in order to serve as a godparent.  Perhaps you’ve found yourself on a spiritual journey and now wish to explore your place in our faith community.  In whatever case, please feel free to contact us for an informal chat.

In practice — not a thing.  “Baptism” is the act of ritual washing given in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  “Christening” refers to bringing a child into the Christian community … which is done only through the act of baptism.

Baptism is not a requirement for a church wedding.  If you wish for your child to be baptised for any reason other than the baptism itself, you may wish to consider a service of thanksgiving and blessing instead.

Godparents are trusted friends — special, close, and loyal — who themselves are baptised, who sponsor your child into church membership and promise to help you raise your child in the Christian faith.  We ask you to consider well who is likely best to fulfil this role; some godparents take the responsibility more seriously than others.

On a practical level, we require godparents to be baptised themselves, because it is on their word that the child is sponsored into the community.  It is customary to have at least two people, one male and one female, to serve as godparents.  It is very common to have four godparents or more.  If you need, we will be happy to advise. If you have a godparent in mind who is not baptised, please let us know, and we will be very happy to discuss the options for honouring that person’s relationship with you and your child.

No. Absolutely not. We do not charge to proclaim God’s love for your precious child. It really is that simple. We do leave a collection basket out at services and we are always grateful for donations. We hope that you will see the value in helping us to keep the church open in your community.  Baptism is God’s gift to your child and our gift to you.

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