All Saints Church, Stechford: Baptism

All Saints Baptism Policy

Baptisms are held on the 1st Sunday of each month. Detailed below is an explanation of the policy on baptism at All Saints. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact the Vicar for a confidential chat.

1.Introduction: Stechford Parish Church is a Church of England church under the Episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Birmingham. The PCC and the Incumbent subscribe to the requirements for baptism stated in the canons of the Church of England. The Policy outlined in this document seeks to put the application of those canons into the context and needs of our parish.

2. Conditions for Baptism:

2.0 Baptisms shall take place on Sundays at public worship. The minister shall notify the congregation regarding the baptism (s) at least 10 days beforehand and remind them of their Christian duty to attend the service.

2.1 Adult Baptism:

(a) An adult wishing to be baptised shall first undergo a course of instruction in the fundamentals of the Christian faith and fully assent to the same. Such instruction shall be in accordance with the elements of faith, discipleship and service prescribed by the Church of England.
(b) At least one week before the baptism the Incumbent shall notify the Bishop of the impending baptism.
(c) An adult seeking baptism shall at the same time and as a requirement be prepared for confirmation soon after Baptism or as soon as possible there after, so that he or she may partake in Holy Communion.
(d) An adult seeking to be baptised shall choose at least two baptised (preferably also confirmed) and godly Christians to be his / her sponsors. The sponsors shall be ready to present him / her for baptism at the baptismal font and afterwards provide him / her with Christian counsel with regard to consistent Christian living and witness.

2.1 Baptism of infants

2.20 In accordance with official Church of England practice, the PCC endorses the baptism of infants. This is not without the knowledge that infants do not cannot profess a faith of their own. The PCC accepts the baptism of infants on two conditions:

(a)That their parents and/or godparents are baptised Christians who wish their children to be accepted by God as a part of them.
(b)That the parents and godparents are willing and able to bring up the children in the Christian faith both by word and by example and bring them to the Bishop for confirmation when they are older.

2.3. Of the Minister and his / her Obligations

(a) “No minister shall refuse (except for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or guardians or godparents) or delay to baptise any infant within the parish boundaries, provided that due notice has been given him/her and the provisions relating to godparents are observed” (Canon 22.4).
(b)A minister shall require not less than 10 days notice of the intention to bring one’s child to baptism.
(c) The minister shall instruct the parents and godparents of the responsibilities that rest on them with respect to the candidate’s growth and development in the faith as laid down in the order of service for baptism.
(d) In cases where the infant’s parents/ guardians reside outside the parish boundaries, the minister shall first seek the goodwill of the minister of the parish in which the parents/guardians reside before proceeding with the baptism, unless one or both of the parents is/are on the electoral roll of this parish (for emergency baptism, see below).
(e) There shall be no private infant baptisms unless there is grave cause thereof.
(f) The minister shall baptise any infant within the parish that needs emergency baptism without delay. In that case the requirement of having godparents shall be lifted.
(g) If the parents/guardians of such an infant do not reside within the parish boundaries and their names are not on the parish electoral roll, the minister shall send their names and addresses to the minister of the parish in which they reside.
(h) If a child so baptised does afterwards live, he or she shall be brought to the church and finally received into the congregation of Christ’s flock. The service of baptism shall be followed, except that the signing of the cross, the prayer over water and the Baptism itself shall be omitted.

3. Godparents

(a) For every child to be baptised there shall be no fewer than two godparents, one male, the other female.
(b) Prospective godparents shall be proven to be persons who will fulfil their responsibilities faithfully both by their care of the children to be baptised and by leading a good Christian life worthy of emulating.
(c) No person shall be allowed to be godparent to a candidate if they are not baptised Christians.
(d) It shall be preferred that a prospective godparent is a confirmed and communicant member of the Anglican Church or a church in fellowship with the Anglican Church.
(e) Where it is not possible for the family to find a suitable godparent, one of the parents or a member of the congregation whom they are happy with may act as godparent.

4. Follow-up of Neophytes and families:

(a)The Minister shall design a programme of instruction and / or a means of continued contact with parents, godparents and neophytes to enable them to grow in faith and to be integrated into the life of the Parish Church. The following ideas may should be considered:
(i)Holding a special service at least once a year for all baptism candidates and families.
(ii) Invitation to social and evangelistic events.
(iii) A letter of invitation to the monthly family service.
(iv) Anniversary card
(v) Encouraging them to subscribe to the Parish Magazine
(vi) Prayer days/ sessions for them
(vii) Invitation to courses, e.g. Lent course, Alpha, and Bible Studies.

5. Establishing a Baptism Preparation and follow-up Team

The PCC shall establish a Baptism Preparation and follow-up team whose ministry it shall be to implement the Baptism Policy.

6. The Baptism Service

(a)The PCC shall set aside at least one Sunday in a month for baptisms.
(b) The minister shall encourage members of the congregation to come to the baptism services by teaching them the importance of their presence there.
(c) The rite of baptism shall take place within the context of public worship.
(d) The PCC shall cause to be prepared and published a full service that includes the rite of baptism for use at baptism services as authorised or allowed by the Bishop.

7. Baptism by Immersion

(a)Candidates / Parents who request Baptism by immersion shall be granted that form of Baptism.
(b)Because the Parish Church does not have facilities for baptism by immersion, the Minister shall have the freedom to conduct the service in an appropriate church / setting.
(c)A candidate wishing to undergo baptism by immersion shall be given counsel and sign a consent form to that effect.