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Baptisms

Our Approach for Baptisms:

While Christians have found Baptism to be one of the special ways of meeting God (sometimes called "sacraments"), we also recognise it as a way of marking a special occasion in which we wish God and the Church to be visibly present. Non-conformists define a sacrament as a visible sign of invisible grace - though that sounds complicated it does say clearly that in what we do at Baptism we demonstrate the presence of God and the expectation that God will bless the life brought into God's presence and in the presence of God's people. 

 

As well as understanding that God wants to be present in every life and that God will bless those who ask, we make promises at baptism. Adults make their own promises, and parents, supportersor godparents make promises on behalf of a child. In addition, the congregation makes promises to support and pray for the person being baptised, establishing a support network for a life new in faith or new in years.

 

In infant baptism the visible sign is pouring water onto the child's head. We also confirm the child's name, and formally ask the blessing of God, Parent Saviour and Spirit, upon the child. The invisible grace is God's involvement as a real presence in the whole service and in the life of the child.

 

In adult baptism we may pour water, but more often use the same technique that John the Baptist used when he baptised Jesus, Usually called "full immersion", this form of baptism may take place in a neighbouring church (since Westgate does not have a baptistry), or alternatively in a suitable swimming pool or river.