Baptism

Baptism

If you are looking at this page, you may be thinking about baptism for yourself or one of your children (otherwise known as a Christening). If so, we’re delighted that you’ve made it this far and we look forward to welcoming you at All Saints’, Orpington. Our church offers baptism to everyone and we aim to make it a rewarding and memorable experience.

Baptism is the first sacrament (a visible sign of God’s love for us in which he bestows his life-giving grace upon us) instituted by Christ in Holy Scripture. Jesus was himself baptised at the start of his public ministry. He told his followers to baptise others as a sign of their entry into his church and that they had turned away from their old direction in life to begin a new life walking with him: a life lived in love, peace and grace. Jesus was so passionate about the Church that he referred to it as ‘His’ Body.

Today, baptism continues to mark an individual’s entrance into the Church. At Baptism God’s Spirit descends on them and his Grace enfolds them from that moment forward and for all eternity. This is marked in the service by the washing with Holy Water and anointing with Holy Oils.

This life-long spiritual adoption by God also requires a life changing response from each of us if it is to fulfil its full potential within us. This involves obedience to God (faith), dedicating ourselves to God through worship and commitment to his Church, which can result in charitable works in the community.

In Baptism you will make promises to God and the Church Community. If a young child is being baptised, their parents and godparents make the promises for them. They agree to commit to bringing the child up as a Christian in the life of the Church and teaching them by good example. This includes attending church with them regularly and encouraging them to attend church children’s groups so that they may learn more about God and be well enough informed to make their own minds up when they become adults.

Whether you are seeking baptism for yourself or for your child, it marks a new start: a decision and commitment to follow Jesus Christ within your own household and within the family of the Church. As such, Baptism is never a private affair: the community should always be present. For this reason, there could be multiple baptisms on any one occasion. The usual times for our baptisms are either during our Sunday Parish Eucharist (9.30am) or at 3.00pm on the first Sunday of the month (but this still leaves plenty of room for you to invite up to 70 guests). We regret that due to the sheer volume of enquiries that we get, we are usually unable to offer baptisms outside of these times.

Your baptism is an occasion for joy and calls for joint celebration of your family together with your new Church family too! For this reason, we invite and encourage you and your family to attend church services in the time leading up to the baptism, and to explore any other activities, groups or offerings that may interest you here.

We will advise you of available dates following your initial contact with us so that you can decide which available date best suits you. To facilitate the booking process, please ensure that you have made a booking with the parish office prior to a hall booking or party venue.

There is no fee for a baptism itself, as a sacrament is an instrument of grace and therefore a gift from God. There is a small parochial fee for administration and the issuing of the baptismal certificate that is set by the Archbishops’ Council. Any offering made by families and their guests in the retiring collection will be gratefully received and will be put towards the mission and ministry of All Saints’ Parish.

Please have a look at our baptism leaflet for more details and to begin familiarising yourself with the service: Baptism – Some Guidelines – Orpington