Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. It is a wonderful occasion for candidates (no age barrier), parents and godparents to rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, as they make serious promises and declare their faith. They also thank God for his gift of life as they make a decision to start on the journey of faith as well as ask for the Church’s support.
All young people and adults who can speak for themselves are invited to make serious promises about their faith in Jesus Christ before the congregation and God.
It is, however, different with infants who cannot speak for themselves. When we baptise infants, parents and godparents make promises on their behalf. One of the promises is that they will draw the infant being baptised into the community of faith by their example and walk with them in the way of Christ. They then have to promise to help the infant take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church. They also need to declare that they have themselves turned to Christ. We believe that infant baptism is fully realised when parents sincerely commit to these promises.
However, we also recognize that not all parents are able to make these promises. Some have, therefore, found a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child service more beneficial. This service which can serve as a preliminary to baptism allows an opportunity for the family to express their thanks to God for the gift of a child.
As the Anglican parish church in Leatherhead, all who live in our parish are welcome to approach us to explore either baptism or thanksgiving for their children. Please contact our Baptism Co-ordinator on a Wednesday morning at the Parish Office (Tel. 01372 362544).