What a wonderful gift children are – they are precious to you and they are precious to God. You will naturally want to guide them and bless them in the very best way you can in their lives, physically, mentally and emotionally. But there is another aspect to our lives that is crucial to our well-being, and that is our spiritual development. The Christian church believes that we are all made in the ‘image of God’, and as such we will only ever find out who we truly are by discovering who He (God) truly is.
Baptism (Christening) is acknowledging this crucial part of our makeup and making a decision to help lead our children into the good things of God, that they might discover all the joy and the freedom that there is in knowing Him. A christening is to be seen as the start of an exciting journey for your child; a journey that is designed to be lived together with you as a family but also with the help and support of your local church family as we are all on the journey together. It’s about:
Being there for your child, to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions of hope, faith and love.
Praying for your child, through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their local church and engaging in the many different events and opportunities we now have to help them in that, but also to help you and your god-parents fulfil the promises you will make.
Showing them in a practical way, how to make those good choices in life.
So, baptising your child is about commitment; commitment to start a journey – the journey of a lifetime. It might be that an older child, or a teenager or you as an adult wish to make a commitment yourself and want to be baptised. The service remains almost the same but instead of having god-parents you might like to consider having a sponsor – a special friend(s) who will be there to help guide you and encourage you in your faith journey. The baptism can be done over the font or perhaps as a full immersion as took place in Semerwater in August 2019 (see report below). That is up to you. Baptisms take place in all four of our churches and are usually included into a regular Sunday service. We encourage you to attend some of our family events before the actual service takes place.
If you are interested in having a baptism for yourself or your child, please contact the the Vicarage (01969 667553) and we will then be delighted to arrange a meeting with yourselves to discuss what is involved, the promises that will be made and how we as your local church family can help you as you take this exciting step forward.
More information can be found on the Church of England website at:
REPORT on the recent Baptisms in Semerwater
The first full immersion baptisms in living memory at a lake in Upper Wensleydale have taken place watched by a joyful crowd of Christians.
“It was a baptism like no other when Andrew Cumpstone and his daughters Chloe, 13, and Ruby, 11, took the plunge in Semerwater, near Bainbridge. “Andrew said the total immersion was ‘massively symbolic of the old life going down into the water and then being born back into this new life as you come out. It is a beautiful world we live in and it was an amazing god that created that world. . . Baptism is an outward sign for me to say I absolutely believe that Jesus came to earth and died so that we could meet with god through him.’
”Chloe said she had been a Christian since she was “six or seven” and had always wanted to be baptised. “Now she was older she had a fuller understanding of what that meant. Ruby, too, said had not fully understood Christianity when she was little, but now she wanted to show that she truly believed in God and Jesus.”
Bathers, sailors, paddle-boarders, bikers and picnickers at stunning Semerwater also watched the wonderful event in bright Bank Holiday sunshine – accompanied by Hawes Silver Band at full throttle.
Revd Dave said it had been a privilege to be involved “I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing it all about. Since I first looked out over the wonderful lake, it has been a hope that I might have the opportunity to conduct a baptism there”
“As a church in the benefice, we pray that this might be just the start and that we may see many others decide to do the same. “Huge thanks to Shane and Jackie who enable us to use their land and to Stanley Roocroft and the Hawes Silver Band for once again blessing us so richly with their music,” said Revd Dave.