Holy Baptism at St John’s Sorrento & St Andrew’s Rye
The World has celebrated many great pioneers. There was Edmund Hillary who conquered Mount Everest before anyone else got to the summit. The first people to reach the North Pole were Frederick Cook, accompanied by two Inuit explorers Aapilak and Ittukusuk. Scott was not the first to reach the South Pole. He was beaten to it by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen.
Holy Baptism is a pioneering moment. It’s when the person to be baptised, or the parents of an infant to be baptised, step out in faith as did the pioneers we remember and stand in awe of. Holy Baptism is when we celebrate how God has reached out to humanity with arms full of love. He congratulates us and tells us just how wonderfully made we are. He did that when His own Son Jesus was baptised in the Jordan River. This is why Holy Baptism is a happy occasion. We become one in God.
At St John’s Sorrento and St Andrew’s Rye we really do like Holy Baptism. We like it because it helps all who gather in church for worship to stand in awe of God. God is courageous. We are able to recall this truth every time we think of Christmas Day. God was courageous when He sent His Son from heaven to be born in a smelly stable and at a dangerous time in history. Each time we listen to the stories about Jesus we cannot avoid thinking of how brave and courageous He was. We cannot avoid thinking how He put the care of others before His own needs. Jesus gives us courage to be brave. This is why Christians all over the world love Jesus. He loves us and we love Him back.
When you approach us at St John’s Sorrento and St Andrew’s Rye with a request for Holy Baptism we hope you will find us loving you. We then hope you will love us back. We have a Godly obligation to prepare you for Holy Baptism so that you are given an opportunity to lay down roots in God and He in you. This is why we require our baptism family’s to worship with us for 5 Sundays prior to the service. We do not insist that they have to be 5 concurrent Sundays. We are also happy if you would rather worship at either of two churches for those 5 Sundays. It will not affect which church you’d prefer the baptism to take place at. For example, if you would like a baptism at 08:30am on a Sunday at St John’s Sorrento, we are happy if you’d prefer to worship at St Andrew’s Rye at 10:30am. Of course we’d like to see you at both churches if possible.
As part of our welcoming spirit each person to be baptised will be allocated a Sponsor by the Vicar. Our Sponsors come from a small pool of friendly people who regularly worship in the parish and who want to give you a personal touch prior to the baptism, during the baptism and after the baptism. You will meet one of them when the Vicar meets you to prepare you for the service. They will also say ‘hello’ to you on the 5 Sundays you worship and will be at your baptism service to support you.
The Sponsors are not the same as Godparents. You will still need to appoint Godparents. You will find our Sponsors warm and caring. They have the love of Jesus in their hearts.
We baptise at our main acts of worship on Sundays. Our worship is at 08:30 for Sorrento and 10:30 for Rye. The Vicar will speak with you about available dates.
And so, as you ponder on making a pioneering decision with Jesus as your guide, we pray that for you, your family and friends, Holy Baptism will assure you of God’s love and that you will know God more and more each time you step out in faith. Remember, we are here to help make your journey an adventure!
Fr Nicholas Robert Wallace.