Baptisms at St John’s, Newcastle
Jesus taught his disciples to go into the world and to teach people to follow the things that he preached, and to baptise people who wanted to follow his teachings “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. All who are willing to make the commitment to follow Jesus are welcome at St John’s to come for Baptism. We expect families who bring their children to the church for baptism to continue as part of our church family and we will do all we can to support and encourage your family into a life of faith.
What is the difference between Baptism and Christening?
Many people use the word “Christening” instead of “Baptism”. Confused? Don’t worry – both words mean the same thing! Most people use the word Christening to refer particularly to a child being baptized. When an adult is baptised, it would very seldom be referred to as a christening. The word Christening refers to someone being “Christian-ed”, or made a Christian, at their baptism.
What does baptism actually mean for my child and my family?
Baptism isn’t just about pouring water on a baby’s head! 🙂
Baptism has a number of deep and important spiritual meanings:
- Infant Baptism is an opportunity for Christian parents to ask God to make their child a member of God’s family. In baptism, parents ask God to support their child as they go through life following him.
- It’s a request by the parents to have their child accepted and welcomed by the church, with the responsibilities and privileges of church membership.
- Baptism is a prayer done through actions. We ask God to wash away all the forms of evil that would drag a child down through life. It’s asking God for a new and holy life for the person being baptised.
In the baptism service, we need parents and godparents to commit to being people of faith who will support their child to grow in their own faith. This is why godparents must themselves be baptised! And we really encourage you to choose godparents who are good examples of faith in their lives.
During the service, we express that faith by using the ancient words of the Apostle’s Creed. There’s an explanation of the Apostle’s Creed here. If you are unsure about this aspect of the service, we’d be very happy to discuss it with you! Please get in touch through the form on this page.
Will baptism make my child Anglican / Catholic / something else?
Baptism is the start of the journey for a child. Where they end up will depend on the way that their parents raise them. By itself, Baptism doesn’t make anyone Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox or anything else. Baptism is about joining a person to Jesus Christ, not about joining someone to any particular brand of church. When a child is baptised before they are old enough to speak about their faith, they can make their own faith decisions later in life and choose their own church membership.
When can I have my child baptised?
Most baptisms at St John’s take place in a friendly, informal service at 12:30pm on Sundays. We have found that there are usually lots of young children at this service so we keep it reasonably short so that even the youngest members of the congregation can enjoy it! We have no more than two families in the same service at our 12.30pm Sunday baptisms.
Families are also welcome to celebrate the baptism during a regular church service on a Sunday at 9.00am, 10.45am or 5pm in a congregational, community setting. This is always special, with large numbers of people, good music and the whole community of faith praying for you and your child.
Please note that we don’t offer the separate 12.30pm baptism service on Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May) or Father’s Day (first Sunday in September). Any baptisms on those dates will have to be in one of our regular Sunday services as detailed above.
How do I book a baptism at St John’s Anglican Church, Newcastle?
To organise a baptism at St John’s, please either fill in the contact form on this page, or call us on 02 4927 5399. The best days to call are generally Monday to Thursday each week. Please read the information above and have in mind:
- what date you would like the baptism to be, and
- whether you would like it inside one of our regular Sunday services, or at 12.30pm on a Sunday afternoon.
If you have any questions at all, please get in contact with us. We believe that baptism is a very special and holy occasion and would love to talk to you about this.
What if I haven’t been baptised?
If you haven’t already been baptised yourself, we would love to discuss what this would mean for you. Baptism as an adult is a very important and special occasion. It is the start of a spiritual journey that is rewarding and fulfilling. If you feel that God is calling you to be baptised, don’t ignore that feeling! Please get in contact with us – we would love to help you.
Baptism Celebrations in the Church Hall
St John’s is now in a position to be able to provide you with food and drink packages provided by well-known local firm Hot Rock Events & Catering. Your event after the church service can be in the church grounds or in the historic St John’s Church Hall. Hot Rock has been established for over 12 years by Michael & Melissa Carroll and has won numerous awards from the restaurant and catering association. Please visit their web site www.hotrock.com.au or phone (02) 49271218 or 0422 417 685 for all details pertaining to food and beverage packages. Menus cover cocktail parties, buffets or plated meals.