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What is Baptism?

From the earliest days of the Christian Church, Baptism has been the way in which people become Christians and members of the Church.  The Gospels tell us that Jesus himself was baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan and that Jesus taught his disciples to go out into the world and baptise. Jesus teaches his people that all who would enter his kingdom must be born again of water and the Spirit.  Baptism is the sign and seal of this new birth.

Those who are baptized as children must be nurtured in faith, sustained by prayer, and welcomed into the worshipping and serving life of the Church and later be brought to Confirmation by the Bishop.   Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Holy Communion), together express the:

- turning away from darkness and sin,
- the turning to Christ,
- the washing or immersion in the waters of baptism,
- the laying on of hands by the Bishop
- the participation in the Eucharistic family of the Church.

Baptism should normally take place in church during the Eucharist. Water is poured over the head of the candidate for baptism three times in the Name of the God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The act of baptism signifies our participation in the death of Jesus and in his Resurrection. As he died and was buried, we symbolically go down into the water of baptism with him. And as he rose from the dead, we symbolically come away from the water in his risen power, made new.

The Church in Wales recognises that once established patterns are giving way to a whole new way of thinking within families and communities.The Church provides for children to be baptized in the hope and trust that parents and the local church together will surround them with a living faith which will sustain them throughout their lives. The Church also provides for those who come to the Christian life anew, supporting them, informing, teaching and encouraging them as they receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.