What happens at baptism?

The candidate receives three signs of God’s love for them:

  1. The sign of the cross is made in holy oil on the forehead of the candidate, to represent Christ claiming them as his own and protecting them from evil.
  2. The baptism itself. As the candidate has water poured over their head three times, their past life of sin is washed away and they are given a new identity ‘in Christ’, as beloved child and member of the church.
  3. The candidate is given a lighted candle to symbolise their new task: as a baptised brother or sister of Jesus, they are to carry his light into the world and make a difference.

The candidates (or their godparents) are required to make two sets of promises, to turn away from evil and to serve Christ. They also recite the Apostles’ Creed as an indication of their faith in the doctrines of Christ.



A certificate of Baptism, a special candle, and the shell used to pour the water

(The scallop shell is an ancient sign of baptism from the very earliest years of Christianity)