Baptisms

I would like my baby baptised ?

 

We are delighted to think that you would like your baby baptised. We are also aware that coming to church for many people is a daunting experience. We want to welcome you and thank you for taking time to look up our policy on baptism. One of the key features about a baptismal service is to try and ensure that the baby who is being baptised not only gets a wonderful service, but also gets Christian parents. We feel we owe this to every child that is baptised in St Andrew's. By doing this we are sure that we have also helped their future Christian development by encouraging their parents to discover the truth of the Christian Gospel for themselves.

Do I have to be married?

Normally we expect parents to be married, however we are in the business of encouraging a stable family life.  We recognise that  many single parents work equally hard to ensure a stable environment for their children. To this end we do not wish to discriminate against  a parent who is seeking to bring their child up by themselves  within a Christian home.

For those who are able to consider  marriage  we believe that it is an important institution that holds the family together and we do not wish to do anything that would suggest that we think differently.  However we also recognise that some people who come to ask for baptism have been living in a stable relationship for many years but have never really heard the Christian arguments relating to the importance of marriage. What we have written in the previous paragraph still applies to those in such a position. We are in committed to giving children Christian parents. Our promise is that we will work with you to help you understand the importance of marriage with in the Christian community, so that we can rejoice with you when you are eventually married.

Couples who are willing to journey along this path have never been refused baptism.  What is required for baptism to be administered is a sincere desire by at least one parent to be a follower of Jesus. We recognise that making disciples takes time.

In many ways the baptism of your infant says more about your quest for God than your child’s. In the service you are invited to affirm your faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, to bring your child up in the nurture of the Lord and to set an example by attending to private and public worship.

If you are not a member or an adherent we assume that by bringing your child for baptism you are wishing to make a Christian commitment yourself. This means that we like to take a little time to explain what it means to be a Christian parent in the light of the baptismal vows. The time involved in preparation usually takes anything from six weeks to three months  before the baptism takes place. Very often this preparation takes the form of an Alpha Course. If parents have not been baptised we often baptise the whole family together.

Second hand faith is worthless.

 

Many people believe  they are part of the church because they were born into a Christian family.This in itself doesn’t mean that you are automatically a Christian. Vital Christianity calls for a person to have a living faith that reflects a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.( John 3.3)  We believe of course that this relationship is nurtured in Christian families and baptism is a sign by which we publicly profess our faith. This faith is often declared when parents bring their children to church to be baptised.  Infant baptism is confirmed by the child when they become an adult.

Adult Baptism

Today many people are finding their faith as adults. Increasing numbers have never been to church as children. So we find that more often than not there are a wide variety of people who are making their own decision to join the church many of them choosing to be baptised as adults. Sometimes because they have chosen to have their child baptised.

For some people this decision comes as part of a sudden conversion experience  For others it is a process of events, or experiences.  These events bring them to a place where they begin to think about God, and ask questions about the person of Jesus. All this grows into an awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives bringing them to a personal commitment.  More often than not that commitment is expressed by joining the fellowship of the church.

Other people follow a slightly different path. They get involved with their friends or their children in the social activities of the local church. They enjoy the friendship of Christian people.  Gradually they too begin to think about the big questions of life and eventually become interested in the Faith. It is in recognition that they belong that they  want to make a profession of their faith. If you find yourself in a similar situation, what should you do?

The first steps.

Talk to your Christian friends. Go to church with a friend if possible. You will be amazed at the people you will know. There are no set seats in church you can sit anywhere and you don’t need to be a member to attend. Here in St Andrew’s the congregation always gather after a service for a cup of tea or coffee. It is a chance to meet with people and chat.

Joining an Alpha Group is an excellent way of finding out more about the Church. In In St Andrew's  we run such a course regularly.  We normally meet in a local  hotel. In the relaxed atmosphere of food and drink we find it an excellent way to explore the big questions about life. Alpha normally runs for about 12 weeks.  There is no shortage of books that you can read about the Christian faith and the church.  

Were you baptised?

Many people were baptised (christened) as a baby but have had little contact with the church since. Baptism is never repeated Confirmation is the response of the Christian adult to  infant baptism. Baptism is an act of grace, something that God does in our lives it is a sign of his love and promise of forgiveness. When we reach the years of desecration we are invited to respond to God’s love and grace. So if you were baptised as a baby in whatever church you are still baptised, but you  can make your response to that baptism as an adult in the act of Confirmation.

If you are a Christian and you belong to another denomination and you feel drawn towards joining the Church of Scotland and St.Andrew’s in particular the way this is done will depend partly on your present situation. Feel free to speak with the Minister or the Session Clerk.