Baptism

 

 

Baptism at Leeds Minster

Will you baptise my baby?

This question is often asked at the Minster. We hope this information helps you unpack the meaning of baptism. We look forward to welcoming you and your family as you explore this important issue. We thank God for the birth of your baby, and hope that we will be able to welcome them as a new member into the Christian family of the Church very soon.

Of course, if you are an adult and were not baptised as a child, then we hope that baptism may be something you would like to consider for yourself as well as your child.

After reading this please do contact us if you have further questions, and we will be pleased to be in touch with you: admin@leedsminster.org

 

Can my child be baptised at the Minster?

We are pleased to baptise any child that lives within the Leeds City Parish. You can find out which parish you live in by entering your postcode on this website: www.achurchnearyou.com. If you live in another parish you should contact the church in that parish; they will be pleased to hear from you.

 

How much does a baptism cost?

There is no charge for a baptism service.

 

Baptism - What is it all about?

Baptism is a chance for all the family to get together, celebrate and thank God for the new life which he has given. But baptism is also a sacrament, which means an outward and visible sign of God’s love. When Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan he became aware of the special presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit; it was a turning point in His life. After his death and resurrection Jesus commanded his followers to make new disciples and baptise them too. This has been done ever since by Christians throughout the world. It is the sign of a ‘new beginning’; the start of a journey with God and other believers which continues throughout the rest of life.

 

Do I have to take my child to church if I have them baptised?

People often ask this. Our answer is simply this: Would you put your child's name down for a particular school, fill in the forms and bring them along on a special day of welcome and then never send them again? Of course you wouldn’t. Would you join the golf club and never go along to play a round of golf? It’s the same with baptism. Having said this, we do not chase up families who bring their children to baptism - the promises you make are between you and God and it is your responsibility before him as to how you live them out.

 

Why do we baptise babies?

Jesus told his disciples to baptise people who wanted to become Christians and join the church. The scriptures tell us that whole households were baptised and of course soon parents wanted their children to be baptised too. Baptism is not like an insurance policy which you take out to make sure that your baby goes to heaven. God loves your child just as much now as after the baptism service. However, it does make sense to give your child the very best start in life and what could be better than to encourage them from the very earliest days to be open to God and to know His love for them?

Some churches do not baptise children until they are old enough to understand for themselves. However we do make all kinds of decisions on behalf of our children including choosing schools and medical treatment and we do our best to encourage them in the best way for their lives. We are pleased that you are thinking about giving your child the benefit of being welcomed into the church family. We would like to encourage you to make the effort to bring them along to church throughout these early years so that they can have the Christian start that they deserve.

In the baptism service we also pray that one day they will stand up for themselves to confirm the baptism vows which have been made on their behalf. This is called Confirmation and usually takes place around the age of 12 or 13.

 

When will the baptism take place?

We usually baptise children at the Minster after the main morning service on a Sunday at 12.15pm. We offer baptism on a number of Sundays throughout the year; please contact us for forthcoming dates: admin@leedsminster.org

 

What happens in the baptism service?

Baptism is an act of worship during which a child’s parents and godparents will be asked to declare their own Christian faith.

The questions asked are in two sections. The first sections are about what you are leaving behind and turning your back on:

Question 1 Do you turn to Christ?

Question 2 Do you repent of your sins?

Question 3 Do you renounce evil?

Then come three positive questions about what matters to you:

Question 1 Do you believe and trust in God the Father who made the world?

Question 2 Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ who redeemed mankind?

Question 3 Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit who gives life to the people of God?

Each time you will all be expected to answer honestly with the words ‘I believe and trust in Him.’

Naming. When the minister baptises the child he will ask what name you have chosen. This will be the Christian name for the child for the rest of its life.

The minister takes the child and says:

N, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Water is always used in baptism as a sign of cleansing and also as an important symbol of life. Water symbolises how we are all washed clean by God and forgiven and accepted by him. As we cannot live without water, so this sign reminds us that we also need the cleansing and renewing presence of God in our lives.

The minister will also make the sign of the cross on the forehead of the child. This is a sign to remind us of how Christ died for all on the cross. As Christ died for us, so we are signed with the cross – the badge of our faith – to remind us that we must not be ashamed to profess our faith and fight against all that is evil.

The minister will say:

I sign you with the cross, the sign of Christ.

Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.

The congregation will respond:

Fight valiantly under the banner of Christ against sin, the world and the devil, and continue his faithful soldier and servant to the end of your life.

A permanent record of the baptism with family details is recorded in the official registers of the church. A copy of this is given in the form of a special certificate, as a reminder of the day.

Having declared your own faith you are asked to promise that you will bring the child up in a Christian home and set an example to the child through your prayers and attending church regularly. Therefore a baptism is a very important occasion, and not to be undertaken lightly.

It is important to make sure that you can make these promises and only you can truthfully know that. If you have any difficulty we can discuss these promises with you. If you feel unable to say these things then perhaps you would prefer a service of thanksgiving for the child at which you are not asked to make any particular promises to bring your baby up as a Christian but simply have the opportunity to give thanks for their safe arrival and to have a prayer of blessing prayed over them by the Minister. Some couples feel that this is more what they are looking for than a baptism service. No water is used at a service of thanksgiving. The choice is entirely yours.

 

Godparents

Being asked to be a godparent is always a real privilege and shows that you have a special place in the family, but there are expectations and responsibilities too. You are asked to promise that you will love and encourage the child in the Christian faith by prayer, example and teaching. Parents should try to find people who can make the promises and mean them. Remember there is no right or wrong number of godparents; have as many or as few as you wish. (We would recommend no more than six and that at least two have themselves been baptised). Godparents often buy a small present for the child; they should remember that this is a Christian occasion and so perhaps buy the child a children’s Bible or story book of Bible stories. We would be pleased to advise you.

 

For more information please do get in touch: admin@leedsminster.org