Baptism – babies (christening)

At Newcastle Baptist church we don't baptise or christen babies, as we believe that each person has to make their own decision to be baptised, once they choose for themselves to a Christian and a follower of Jesus, so this doesn't usually happen until someone is in their teens or twenties.

Instead of christening or baptising babies, we welcome babies and children into the life of the church as part of a regular Sunday morning service. About ten to fifteen minutes is set aside, where the parents will bring their child forward, and make certain promises about how they will raise their child. At that point they will often name the child. There are also promises for sponsors or godparents at this point.

We remember that Jesus' parents took him to the Temple when he was 8 days old, and so this ceremony is identifying with Jesus and his parents.

Once the child is named, s/he is taken into the congregation, where one or two members of the congregation will great the child on behalf of the whole church. The congregation will make promises to support the parents as they raise their child.

Finally, the minister will pray a blessing on the child, and one on the whole family.

No water is used during this act, as we believe that baptism normally follows a person putting their personal trust in Jesus.

The words that are used are tailored to each individual family, so there is opportunity to choose prayers and readings and different promises can be made.