Through baptism, a person joins spiritually with the Body of Christ and becomes a member of the Christian Church. It is a therefore a public declaration both of a person’s faith in the God, and of their decision to follow the way of life taught by Jesus.
If you are an adult who would like to be baptized, then we would expect you to be a member of the congregation in St Peter’s, a regular subscriber to parish funds, and be seeking to live your life according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus. This is not a test to see who is fit for baptism and who is not; rather, it should simply be understood that a request for baptism must flow from an existing faith that is already expressed through a Christian lifestyle and Church involvement.
If you want your child to be baptized, then we will rely upon the sponsors (parents and god-parents) to make promises to raise the child within a Christian environment. In practice, this means that a baptized child should be brought to church each week, and that they should be encouraged to read the Bible and to pray at home. Baptism is therefore much more than a rite-of-passage for new-born babies and must therefore not be undertaken lightly.
There is absolutely no fee for a baptism in St Peter’s. However, it is the custom in St Peter’s for a donation to be made to the Church by the adult who has been baptized, or by the parents of a child who has been baptized. This donation is used for our Benevolent Fund, which is available to parishioners facing financial hardship. By this first act of generosity, there is a direct link between committing your life to Jesus Christ, and helping people who are struggling. We recommend a donation of £40, but it is entirely up to you, and all donations are welcome. If you are writing a cheque, please make it payable to “Parish of St Peter & St James, Belfast”.
If you would like to speak to the Rector about the possibility of a baptism for either you or your child, and you are not already a regular member of our congregation, then please join us for worship in St Peter’s at any service that suits you. Following the service, please mention to the Rector that you are considering a baptism, and he will arrange a time to meet you to discuss the matter in private.
Please note that there are no baptisms in St Peter’s during Advent (the four weeks prior to Christmas Day) and Lent (the six weeks prior to Easter).