Baptism and Blessing
Baptism of children
Baptism is the sign of belonging in the Christian church. We are happy to carry out baptismal services for people of all ages. When we baptise infants, we are saying that God loves them even before they know about it, and that they are welcome in the family of faith, because of what Jesus has done for them, but they need to make that choice for themselves when they are older. When we baptise adults we are generally recognising that they are loved and welcome in God's family because of what Jesus has done, and that they already have their own faith in him.
Baptism is a once in a lifetime sacrament, so if someone is baptised as a child we don't rebaptise them as adults (but we may offer confirmation or a new member's service as a way of recognising their own response of faith.)
In a baptismal service for a child, parents/carers are asked to declare their own faith and to promise to bring the child up within the life and worship of the church so he/she can make their own informed choices when they are older.
The Church of Scotland offers baptism for the children of members or adherents (and an adherent is anyone involved in the life of the church who has not formally become a member.) At Fort William Kilmallie we take as wide as possible a view of that, and would rather offer a welcome than create a barrier for families.
However, baptism is not the right choice for every family. Where a child has been baptised somewhere else, where one or both parents feel they can't take the baptismal promises with integrity, or where there is a desire to leave open the possibility of a child seeking baptism for themselves later, this may arise. Whatever your circumstances we still want to share your celebration. A service of blessing is our way to do this, where baptism is not the right choice for you. This still normally takes place in a Sunday morning service, involves prayers, readings and a blessing for your child, but we don't use water or ask parents to make promises.
Feel free to contact the minister to talk about the possibilities and what might be right for you and your family.
We are very happy to baptise adults who seek that as their response to Christ's love for them. This is usually (but not necessarily) in connection with new members joining the congregation. If you were already baptised as a child (in any Christian church) we'll offer a service of confirmation instead. Speak to a member of the ministry team if you'd like to explore this option further.