Christian Baptism is a way of symbolising God's love, care and call on a person's life.

There are two type of Baptism services i) Personal baptism and ii) Infant/child Baptism (often called "Christening")

i) Personal baptism

This is basically for anyone of any age who has decided for themselves that they would like to be baptised.

If you have come to accept that Jesus Christ is Lord, and would like to make that spiritual reality 'public', with a service of Baptism, then please talk to a member of the clergy

ii) Infant/child Baptism ("Christening") When we have a baby baptised, we are saying that our greatest wish for them would be for them to grow up knowing God's love in Jesus for themselves and to follow him throughout their lives. The baptism service therefore asks parents and godparents to say in front of the congregation that they themselves are followers of Jesus and that they are going to bring their child up as a member of the Christian church.

If you do not feel you would be happy making the statements and promises involved in baptism, but would still like a service to say 'Thank You' for the gift of your child then you might want to consider a Service of Thanksgiving. This still takes place in our main morning service and would still be an appropriate service to invite family and friends to a celebration of your baby's birth, but it doesn't assume that parents want to make such big promises about their own faith.

Many people who join the church wish to express their commitment to God by reaffirming for themselves the promises made for them at their baptism by their parents and godparents at a confirmation service. These are always led by a Bishop who will normally use the opportunity to talk to the candidates about the responsibilities of adult Christian life and pray for them. He often addresses the congregation, too, and encourages them to support the candidates in the new step each is taking. Those being confirmed will then make their public profession of faith.

To read more about baptisms in general, visit the Church of England website.