In Christianity, baptism is the ritual act by which a person is admitted to membership of the Church. When individuals become baptized, they make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. This means that they are willing to let go of old ways of seeing themselves and others. They make a conscious decision to respect themselves and others, to grow in their ability to live in harmony with others, and to forgive when others hurt them. They believe that they have a responsibility to resist evil in their own lives and to work to transform our society into a caring family which is centred on Christ’s passionate love for the world.

If parents are bringing children to be baptized, they make a commitment to bring them up to understand God’s purpose for the world and to encourage them to participate in bringing about this purpose. Baptized individuals and parents of a child being baptized also promise to support the work of their local congregation and diocese through their gifts of time, talent, and financial resources.

If parents are not ready to make baptismal promises or wish to defer baptism until the child is able to make his or her own decision, the church also offers a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This service provides an opportunity for a family to give thanks for the birth of a child and to pray for God’s help in the child’s care and nurture.

If you would like to have your child baptized or have a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child, or if you are an adult who wishes to be baptized, you are invited to speak to your parish priest or contact your local Anglican church.