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Saint Paul's Vicarage, Huddersfield Road, STALYBRIDGE, Cheshire

Baptism  
baptism In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church it is common to baptise young children; this is sometimes known as christening.
Baptism is a 'sacrament' (holy ritual to symbolise grace) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the river Jordan.
   
 

Many people in this country grow up in the Church because they've been baptised as babies and brought up in a Christian family. But that's not always the case. Increasing numbers of older people - from teenagers to great grandparents - are making their own decision to join the Church.
 
For some people this may come as a sudden conversion. For others, a curiosity about God or about the person of Jesus grows into a gradual awareness of his importance and an increasing conviction that he demands some sort of personal commitment. They feel the need to express that commitment by joining a worshipping community of the Church.
Some people follow a slightly different path. They get involved with their friends or their children in the social activities of the local church without having much interest in what the Church is really for. They enjoy the friendship of Christian people and get interested in the Church for its own sake. Gradually, they, too, want to belong.
There are many baptisms each year at St Paul's. Most - but not all - are young children. It's one of the special moments in someone's life, even when that person is too young to be conscious of what's going on.
 
What does baptism involve?
 
Firstly, baptism is a sign of God's love, and a promise that the person being baptised will be always loved by God.
Secondly, it's a new start, symbolised by the use of water - to clean, refresh and renew.
Thirdly, baptism means that all those baptised become part of the Church and of God's family. It's the beginning of an important journey with God.
We hope that - in the case of infant baptisms - parents and godparents will also want to continue that journey by sharing with us in the life of St Paul's family (or another local church, if they live elsewhere). Church is the best place for all of us - adults and children - to learn about God's love. Everyone will always be very welcome.
God wants to use those closest to the person being baptised as the channels of his love and care. So in the baptism service parents and godparents (and of course any adults being baptised) are asked to make some important promises about their own belief and example. So this requires some serious thought beforehand.
 
How do I make contact?
 
If you're interested in the possibility of baptism for you or your child, please contact the Vicar - see above for details - who will be very pleased to arrange to meet and talk further about making plans for this special and happy occasion.