It is a privilege for the clergy and people of St. James’ to share your joy at your birth of your child and welcome him or her into God’s family through the sacrament of Holy Baptism. We are also delighted to welcome young people and adults who wish to be baptised and/or confirmed.
Baptisms are usually conducted on a Sunday at 11:00 am, although we are happy to make arrangements for other times.
You can arrange a baptism for your child or for yourself by completing the contact form or phoning the church on (02) 4933 6218.
Choosing a Date
Baptisms usually take place in a short private service at 11:00 am on a Sunday. We are happy to work with you if there is a day or time that would be more suitable for your family.
Baptisms do not occur in Lent.
Baptisms and confirmations may also take place within the Sunday Eucharist at 9:00 am.
Please enquire about available dates using the contact form or by phoning (02) 4933 6218.
Preparing for Baptism
A member of our clergy team will arrange a time to meet with your family before your baptism date. At this meeting you will finalise arrangements for service, complete some paperwork, and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the sacrament of baptism or what will happen on the day. It is important for Baptism families to understand the significance of Baptism. This will be discussed. Your child’s prospective godparents may wish to be part of this meeting, although this is not a requirement.
Choosing a godparent for your child is a time-honoured tradition of inviting a family member or friend to be part of a child’s life in a special way. Godparents also have a special role in the life of the church. Along with the child’s parents, godparents make promises in the baptism service to encourage a child in the life and faith of the Christian community. It is not necessary for a godparent to be a practicing Christian although the promises they make will reflect an alignment with the mission and values of God’s church. If a prospective godparent has not been baptised, they are encouraged to consider being baptised themselves before they become a godparent.
It is customary for parents to choose two or more godparents to support them in the care of their child, and it is usual (but not compulsory) to choose at least one godparent of each gender.
If you are an adult coming for baptism you are welcome to choose sponsors to support you and to take part in the baptism service with you.
Is there a cost?
There is no cost involved in the baptism of your child. However, you may wish to make a donation for the ongoing ministry of the church and preservation of this unique historic building so that it may be maintained as a community resource in which baptisms, weddings, funerals and other events can be held, as well as being the home for the worshipping life of our community.
There is no set amount for the donation and the only guideline is that it should be more than a ‘token’; it is a spiritual discipline that reflects your thanksgiving to God for the gift of baptism and your commitment to the mission and values of God’s church, as your offering is used to ensure our ongoing life as a Christian presence in the community.
Adult Baptism & Confirmation
We are delighted to welcome young people and adults who wish to be baptised and/or confirmed.
An adult baptism can take place at any time of the year. However, it is usual for adult baptisms to take place during a parish visit from the Bishop of Newcastle or an Assistant Bishop, where candidates for baptism are confirmed in the same service. There is also an opportunity in this service to receive members of other churches who now worship with us into Anglican Church of Australia.
Any adult who has not been baptised can be baptised, and the sacrament of Confirmation (making an adult confession of faith) will be offered to young people who are 12 years old and older. Candidates will be prepared for baptism and confirmation by members of the St James’ ministry team.
Photography & Filming
You are most welcome to arrange for people to take photographs and/or to film the baptism, this includes the use of flash photography. We realise that this is an important event for your family and we want you to have a record for the future.
We ask that they do so in a way that does not disturb the service or draw attention away from the focus of what we are doing.
Welcome to our Family
We look forward to you becoming a part of our church family. You will always be welcome at St James’ Morpeth, to visit us for services, to bring other children for baptism, and even to carry on your connection with us through the generations. Many couples who choose St James’ for baptisms or weddings were themselves baptised at St James’. Whether you have an old family connection with St James’ or are excited to begin a new tradition, we warmly welcome you to our family.