Baptism or Christening is one of the major sacraments of Christian life and uses water and oils to signify rebirth into the Christian faith.
Baptism gives the opportunity for parents of children to thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and for godparents to promise help and support.
Increasingly adults, from teenagers to great grandparents, are making their own decision to join the Church. For some people this comes as a sudden conversion. For others, it’s a curiosity which grows into a gradual awareness of God’s presence. Baptism is a way of expressing this commitment to the church community.
For every baptism, the church community promises to welcome an individual into the church and to pray for them.
Baptisms at St Giles’
Baptisms usually take place on the first Sunday of every month in our Parish Mass at 10am. To book a baptism please come to the 10am service to pick up a form and have a chat. Adults who wish to be baptised also have the option of combining baptism with confirmation. Occasionally, baptisms can take place outside of the main 10am service – please talk to the clergy team about this.
Confirmation is a point in a person’s Christian journey when they decide to affirm the promises made at their baptism by their parents and godparents. It also allows them to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, the celebration and sharing of bread and wine to symbolize Jesus’ death of the cross.
Confirmation is an important part of Christian faith as it confirms an intention to live as a follower of Christ. Every year, the clergy team at St Giles’ provides a course to prepare people for confirmation, culminating with them attending a service led by the Bishop. During this service, the Bishop lays his hands on the candidate and asks God to give them the grace and power through the Holy Spirit to enable them to live this life.
Adults who are not already baptised are very welcome to attend the course and will be able to be baptised as part of the confirmation service.
Admission to Communion
Children who regularly attend St Giles’ and have parents who are members of our church are encouraged to attend a course to allow them to receive Holy Communion. The course is held once a year and takes place every Sunday for 6 weeks.
One of the reasons we provide this opportunity is because we believe that children are able to understand the origin and specialness of sharing the bread and wine. Understanding the mystery of this sacrament is a lifetime’s work for each and everyone one of us and we believe that Holy Communion is a free, gracious and unconditional gift from God.
Finally, one important characteristic of childhood is the need to belong. Partaking in Holy Communion is a powerful indication of belonging – to God, and to one another in our church. Whatever children may or may not be able to understand about Holy Communion – they can certainly understand rejection if they are denied food at the Lord’s Table.