Baptism

Many people don’t remember their baptism because they were babies when the Vicar poured some water over their heads, which probably made them cry! At a baby’s or young child’s baptism promises are made on the child’s behalf by their parents and godparents to bring them up in the Christian faith, be good examples to them and bring them along to church.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of an adult or child baptism, then do contact the Vicar, Matthew.

Baptism for Adults
As an adult, being baptised is a completely different experience. For one thing, you will be making the promises yourself. Adult baptism comes after much thought and consideration and it is great opportunity to share your story about coming to faith with everyone who has come along to the service if you are able to.
Once you’ve been baptised it can feel a bit like “I’ve done it, I’m there”. Of course, it’s a great step forward in your life and you’ve probably come to baptism after quite a ‘journey’, but it doesn’t end there. Baptism is a step on a life-long exciting journey with God.
Baptism for Children
 

Baptism for Children
Starting a walk with God…
If you are wondering about having your child baptised, this is the page for you.
Baptism is an amazing thing and we’re so pleased that you are thinking about it for your child. Your child is so precious to you and also precious to God. Basically, when you have your child baptised you are promising to raise your child to know that God loves them, and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of the Church.

 

As parents:- you thank God for the gift of life, decide to start your child on their journey of faith and ask for the Church’s support.
As a child:- it’s the start of a journey with God where you turn to Christ and become a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
If you would like to talk to Matthew, the Vicar, about a baptism, just email him on matthew@stlukesbath.com
Got some questions, maybe these will help you….

Q What’s the difference between a baptism and a christening?

A None, they are just different words for the same thing.

Q Can we have a private service of baptism?

A Baptisms usually take place in our Lighthouse service on the 3rd Sunday of the month, because they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family. It is important that the church congregation is there to support you and welcome your child.

Q What is the right age for baptism?

A Baptism can happen at any age. What matters is that those concerned believe it is right to ask for baptism. Teenagers and adults may also be baptized. You can only be baptised once, but there are ways of renewing your commitment publicly as an adult

Q I’m not a regular churchgoer. Can I still have my child baptized?

A Yes, but in honesty we don’t think that this really makes much sense. Baptism implies that parents take their faith and involvement in the church seriously and that following Jesus is the most important thing in their life. We never refuse to baptise a child, but if parents have not been active in the church, they may want to delay the baptism until they have their questions resolved. God’s love is available to all and we don’t want to block anyone from participating in the life that Jesus has for us all. But baptism isn’t about protecting your child in case they tragically died, or to make them a Christian, or to secure their place in heaven.
Baptism is an identity marker marking us out as disciples of Jesus. Disciples of Jesus belong to the church and worship with other Christians not because they have to but because they want to. Baptising a child but not bringing them up as a disciple doesn’t make sense. We therefore invite every parent who would like to have their child baptised to spend some time thinking through their own faith by meeting with a member of the congregation. We certainly don’t want to put anyone off but we do want to enable people to mean what they are going to be saying in the baptism service. Some people realise, having talked it through that they would prefer to have a ‘Thanksgiving service’ first and then consider baptism when they have had time to think on things further.

Q What does it cost?

A Nothing.

Q What is a godparent?

A Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptised as parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.

Q How many godparents should I have?

A As many as you would like. Most people have between two and three… some more. A child can not have too many supporting adults praying for them and encouraging them in their faith.

Q Who should I choose to be a godparent?

A Anyone who knows and loves Jesus – people who will not only be good role models for your child but also be faithful in prayer for them. Godparents can be family members or friends. They must also be baptised themselves.

Q Can we take photos or a video

A Yes, as long as it is done sensitively. The baptism is a service of worship and the insensitive use of cameras undermines its significan

Weddings

If you're looking at this page it must be because you are thinking about getting married. That's great news!

It’s now so much easier to get married in a church of your choice. This is because of the Church of England Marriage Measure 2008. With these new rules in place, it means you can be married in St. Luke’s if:

  • You currently live in the parish
  • You have been a regular member of the church for at least 6 months
  • You have, at any time, lived in the parish for at least 6 months
  • You were baptized in the parish.
  • Your confirmation was registered here
  • You have a parent that has at any time during your lifetime lived in the parish for at least 6 months
  • You have a parent or grandparent that was married in the parish

There will be all sorts of things to arrange, such as flowers, banns of marriage that need to be read and an order of service. It would be well worth thinking about music that you might like to have in your service before the first planning meeting with Matthew. Don’t worry if you are unsure of anything, just ask when you meet to plan the service.

As with most things in life, there is a fee for getting married in church. This is set each year nationally and you can see the current costs on the Church of England website.

You will probably want to keep a memory of the special day by taking some photographs or even a wedding video. That is no problem, but we do ask that the photographer doesn’t distract from the marriage itself. We don’t allow any flash photography or additional lighting to be brought in. If you wanted to have a video of the wedding, there is usually a copyright fee involved.

In the first instance, chat through your thoughts with Matthew when you meet to plan the day.

Funerals

A funeral, or a service of thanksgiving, is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth.

Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. This important time together can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.

Matthew (the Vicar at St. Luke's) and members of the Pastoral Care Team can provide pastoral support to families at this difficult time, whether or not they, or the person who has died, attended church.  We can discuss service details and can take funerals in the church or at Haycombe Crematorium. Burials and the interment of ashes can take place at Haycombe Cemetery.
As a first step, ask your undertaker to contact us to enquire about possible dates and times for the service you’d like and about pastoral support from our team.
For further information on planning a special funeral service, follow these links:
www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/planning-a-funeral
www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/the-funeral-service