Baptisms in Blyth Valley Team Ministry
“The Blyth Valley Team Ministry is committed to an open baptism policy in accordance with the teaching and practice of the Church of England. We seek to make it widely known that we welcome all for baptism (sometimes called christening) regardless of their parents’ marital status or their own. We will baptise all adults and teenagers who ask for baptism, and all children whose parents or legal guardians bring them. If a person comes from outside the Blyth Valley Team Ministry, the goodwill of their own parish priest must be sought.” – Blyth Valley Team Policy, 2004.
In the Blyth Valley, we (usually, but not always) baptise at the main Sunday service when the worshipping community is gathered to welcome.
If you are 10 or older, we will invite you to prepare for Confirmation, which is the step Anglicans
(C of E members) take before receiving Holy Communion at the Eucharist. But we will not insist, and it is not a condition of Baptism.
Baptism in water in the name of the Holy Trinity (God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is the means by which a person becomes a Christian and a member of the Church. In Baptism, he or she turns from sin (“falling short of the glory of God”) and turns towards the life and love of Jesus Christ in the company of others. It is a serious commitment, but it is offered freely. It is good to be prepared for Baptism, and good to follow it up by becoming part of the worshipping community, but, again, we take people as they are. When we accept Baptism for ourselves or for our children, we accept that life has meaning and that God has a loving purpose for our lives.
Baptism, Marriage and the Funeral Office are collectively known as the “Pastoral Offices”.
In the Blyth Valley, we operate an ‘Open Door’ policy. All who have a kernel of faith, however small or tentative they feel it is, are invited to avail themselves of the ministry of the Church. In an ideal world, we would hope that those who come for Baptism and Marriage would have an awareness of the Church’s teaching and go through a period of preparation. However, we do not live in an ideal world: neither did Jesus. He accepted all who came to him and invited them to journey towards God’s kingdom. We seek to meet people where they are, because we believe that in the Pastoral Offices God’s grace is at work. In God’s time, not ours, we believe that his radical acceptance of each human being, which is focussed in the Pastoral Offices, will draw those who participate into a close and living relationship with him and with his Church.