Baptism - making a decision

As a Christian community, we encourage each other to grow in our relationship with Jesus. However, maybe your own growth in faith has been stunted by things out of your control, or by times of personal difficulty, or by a bad experience from the past. Maybe at times you’ve come across people in the Church who haven’t always lived up to the Gospel way of life and this has put you off. Or maybe you’ve simply decided to “have a rest” and just never got back into the practice of your faith. If that’s the case then why not let your child’s Baptism become an opportunity for you to renew your own Christian faith and to make a fresh start. If you have any questions, or difficulties, or just want to talk things over, then now would be a good time. We’re here for you.

Then again, maybe Jesus and the Christian way of life means absolutely nothing at all to you. Or perhaps, despite the words you’ll be asked to say, you have no intention of bringing up your child in the Christian way of faith and life. In which case, maybe you should ask yourself if it wouldn’t be better to delay your child’s Baptism for a while until you can make those promises and keep them. It wouldn’t be very honest to have your child baptised under false pretences.

Baptism is about more than just arranging a “Big Party Day” for your child; it’s about us – parents and parish community together – passing on our Christian faith to our children who are the next generation of Christians. In fact during the Rite of Baptism, parents are referred to as being the “first and best teachers of their children in the ways of faith”. Our planning together for your child’s Baptism will hopefully help you to be just that.

It’s only natural that you want your child’s Baptism to be a special event for the whole family, and no doubt you’ll want to invite relatives and friends to the ceremony and to the celebration afterwards. But to avoid any disappointment please don’t make any other arrangements for the day (such as booking a venue for a reception) until we have agreed a definite date for the Baptism.

Your child’s Baptism will be a family occasion for the parish community too: Your little one will become a child of God and a member of His family, the Church. It’s a serious step. Which is why we make such a fuss about Baptism and ask you to think honestly and seriously about your request for Baptism and about what that request means.

At the start of the Baptism Ceremony you will be asked you to state your intention of bringing your child up in the practice of the Catholic faith. For this reason we expect parents who are Catholics to be attending Sunday Mass. If you are not regularly practicing your own faith, then ask yourself why you want your child baptised in the first place - it doesn’t make much sense to ask us to baptise your child into a community which you yourself don’t seem to value very highly. It makes a mockery of the whole idea of Baptism.