Thanks for considering having yourself or your child baptised and/or dedicated (blessed) at St Mary By The Sea Torbay.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is the rite of initiation into the Body of Christ, The Church. Baptism is similar to a marriage where holy vows are made before God. It is an opportunity for you to commit your life or your child’s life to the way of Jesus. It is the moment, when you commit to bringing your child up in the Christian faith, or following the faith yourself. It is also when we the faith community get to support you in your first steps in this journey, either for yourself or your child. We baptise with water “…in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We recognise other Christian denominations Baptisms, as long as it is done with water “…in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We perform Baptism via full immersion or sprinkling with water. Baptism is similar to a marriage where holy vows are made before God and the faith community. As such, Baptism always happens with a service of the Christian community, we don’t for example hold private Baptism services.
What is Dedication?
Dedication on the other hand is an opportunity for you to thank God for the arrival/birth of your new child, and to ask for God’s blessing on the life of your child and your family as you continue your parenting journey. Dedication works well where as parents, you wish your child to make their own decision about Baptism later in life and/or you wish to dedicate your child very close to the birth and have Baptism at a more convenient date. Dedication may also work where you do not attend church and don’t intend to, but are considering dedication for the sake of other family members, or maybe you as parents are divided over what decision to make. You should understand that this service in not a Baptism.
What is Renewal of Baptismal Vows?
Sometimes people who were previously baptised wish to re-affirm their Baptismal vows, which either they made, or others made on their behalf. In this situation, we have a suitable service where you may re-affirm your vows
Confirmations and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
We offer the opportunity for people to make a public confession of faith through a special Service called Confirmation and Renewal. In this Service, the Bishop, with the laying on of hands, prays for those who would like to acknowledge or Confirm their Baptismal vows. This is meaningful for those where vows were made on their behalf when baptised as an infant. Those baptised as adults, are also offered confirmation. Others who have been through a Confirmation Service in the past may like to publicly renew their vows to God. This Service gives the opportunity for people to express their faith publicly and meaningfully.
What is Full Immersion Baptism?
Full immersion Baptism is where you are fully immersed in water, unlike infant Baptism when we sprinkle a child with water. Full immersion Baptism is suitable for children and adults who are comfortable in being underwater (briefly). If a person has not been baptised previously, and desires this, a Service can be arranged for them with full immersion. Other appropriate opportunities for a person to express publicly their faith and commitment to Christ, such as the renewing of Baptismal vows by immersion if previously baptised, can be arranged.
What is Infant Baptism?
This is when the child’s guardians/parents and sponsors/god-parents (if any) make the holy vows before God and the Body of Christ the Church on behalf of the infant to bring the child up in the Christian faith. We as the faith community respond to this, and commit to share with your child the Christian faith. This will involve you regularly attending church so that not only can you keep your vows, but we the Body of Christ the church may also keep our vows to nurture this new person in the faith we ourselves have received.
A Baptism or dedication would normally happen within our Intergenerational Service on Sundays at 10am (arrive by 9:40).
There is huge scope within a dedication service to customise it to your needs. A dedication service can happen outside of normal service times, or at an alternate venue.
There is no ability to customise a Baptism as this service is set by our church constitution. A Baptism must happen within a church service, be this in one of our buildings, or occasionally in the sea or a river where the Baptism candidate is older. The only instance in which Baptism happens outside of the gathered church community is for example at hospitals in an emergency.
Your next step is to fill the Baptism and dedication form in below. We will then make contact to arrange Baptism or Dedication preparation.