We love doing baptisms!
If you are reading this page because you are wondering about being baptised then that is great news. The Cathedral conducts many baptisms for members of our congregations each year. It may be helpful for you to know a little about Baptism before you consider further whether you want to be baptised at the Cathedral.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a sign or a seal, and neither confers God's grace, nor is it a precondition to receiving God's grace (his gift of salvation). Rather, baptism is a visible demonstration of faith in Jesus Christ - either that of the adult being baptised or of the parents and godparents of the child being baptised.
What does Baptism symbolise?
Baptism is closely linked to the idea of turning away from our old way and turning to God (which the Bible calls 'repentance'). The act of baptism symbolises the washing away of sin. This is another way of speaking about God's forgiveness.
Baptism is therefore only meaningful where there is a genuine decision and desire to follow Jesus Christ. It is a commitment to following and serving him for the whole of our lives. The Baptism gathering itself expresses the expectation that the person will "continue as Christ's faithful soldier and servant until their life's end".
What does the 'Baptism' do?
The 'baptism' itself does not "turn someone into a Christian". It is only a symbol in the same way that an engagement ring symbolises engagement. Baptism cannot make a person a Christian any more than putting on an engagement ring can make a person engaged.
But it would be equally wrong to think that the 'baptism' had no meaning at all. Baptism reminds us of God's wonderful promises to forgive our sins and to make us his children if we trust in Jesus Christ. These promises are publicly declared in the reading of Scripture and in the symbolic actions (like the washing with water) that take place.
How can children be baptised if faith is necessary?
God's promises are not only made to individuals, they are made to families. So, for example, when the apostle Paul and his companion Silas were asked by a man: "What must I do to be saved?", they replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." (Acts 16: 31) Children are included with their parents in the promises of God. They may be baptised if they are part of a Christian family.
Children are baptised on the understanding that they will one day make their own profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The 'Baptism' therefore has a 'conditional' note.
If children are to grow up to be Christians they need encouragement and teaching. The most significant influence will be parents (and god-parents) who have a genuine and active Christian faith of their own.
Who may be baptised?
Any person who professes faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and has at least a basic understanding of the Christian faith, may be baptised. In the case of children, it is the parents and god-parents who express this faith on behalf of the child. This is only meaningful where the parents and godparents have a genuine faith in Christ themselves and should not be sought if there is no faith seen in daily life and weekly service at church.
What should I do to be baptised at the Cathedral?
Join one of the congregations of the Cathedral. As an established member of the congregation, you will know the Ministers who pastor the congregation you are part of, and they would be very willing to talk further with you about being baptised.
It is our desire to be as helpful as possible to assist you to consider baptism that is both meaningful and special for you and your family.
Please join us in one of our congregations. We hope to see you there.