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September 2015 - Why Baptism, Why Confirmation?

In June I christened my granddaughter in Sussex. For our family, as for many others, it was a very happy occasion and we rejoiced together. As the service says, 'The Church receives this child with joy.' So why have a child christened or baptised (It means the same)?

Sometimes people request baptism so that their child may know right from wrong. That is important, but it is not the real purpose of baptism. Christianity is not primarily about morality.

The best reason for being baptised (child or adult) is so that the person may join the worldwide family of God and belong to Jesus Christ in a special way by being washed in holy water to become a member of his Body, the Church.
Jesus told his disciples, 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.'

We are very happy to baptise anyone who asks this for a child - or for themselves, so long as parents and Godparents promise faithfully to give the child a Christian upbringing, within the family of the Church. The best way to do this is to bring the child to church themselves and to live and share the Christian life at home. Just as there is no point in joining a club unless you intend to take part, so baptism involves parents and Godparents in making a commitment, on the child's behalf, to attend Church regularly and take their part in Church family life.

Confirmation is the service in which someone baptised makes the same promises for themselves in front of the Bishop and receives the gift of the laying-on of hands, which the Bible speaks about, so as to be confirmed, strengthened, to live the Christian life fully. This again involves regular attendance, especially coming to the Lord's own service, the Holy Communion, by which we are fed with the Eternal Life of Jesus and strengthened by him. There is no age-limit, so if you are interested, whoever you are, please ask. There will be a confirmation in Osbaldwick in the Autumn.

May God bless you all.


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