Thank you for enquiring about baptism (sometimes known as ‘christening’).
In the Waterfront Churches we are very pleased to baptise infants and children into the Christian faith, which is the normal practice of the Church of England. We are delighted to support parents who wish to initiate their children into the Christian church and faith through baptism. However baptism is something we approach with careful thought for the spiritual welfare of the child.
Our main concern is for children we baptise to have an ongoing connection with the worshipping community of Christians (the church). Two of the questions parents are asked at a baptism service are Will you draw your child by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? and Will you help your child take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church? It’s important that parents can answer ‘yes’ with integrity.
For this reason, we baptise children only when parent(s) intend to help their child build an ongoing connection with the church. Think of it like this: imagine a child being given a season ticket for Ipswich Town FC… it’s a fantastic gift to the child, but only if their parents are prepared to bring them to matches, letting them experience what it means to be a supporter, enjoy the action, learn the songs and chants etc. In much the same way, it’s vital that a baptised child not only receives the special badge of belonging to the church (baptism) but is allowed to take part in the life of the church, where they can continue learning about Jesus, who accepts them as members in baptism, and experience following him with others.
So we ask families seeking baptism to come to our church for six months, in order for you to be sure you wish to build that important ongoing link with the Christian church. Once you know who we are and what church is all about, we can begin to set dates for baptism preparation and a baptism service. We don’t mind if after visiting us you decide you’d rather be part of another church… in which case we recommend having your child baptised there, in the church family that he or she will be part of.
If you are an adult who is a follower of Jesus and part of the Waterfront Churches but you haven’t been baptised, please have a chat with Tom – it would be a joy to baptise you!