Here is a list of commonly asked questions that we receive on a regular basis.
If your question is not answered please contact us.
- What Is Baptism?
- What About Babies & Faith?
- Where Do Baptists Come From?
- What Is A Baptist Church?
- What’s A Baptist Service Like?
- Do You Do Weddings?
Where those being baptised are too young to make promises of discipleship, adults do so on their behalf and the child then “confirms” those promises when they are older.
In Baptist understanding, the one being baptised has realised that the death and resurrection of Jesus has power and relevance for them and has asked him to be their personal Saviour.
That private response to the good news of Jesus is then followed by a public declaration of that fact by being baptised.
A Bible basis for this is found where Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptised” Acts chapter2 verse 38 (The Message).
Our practice is perhaps more helpfully described as “Believer’s Baptism”.
Whilst this always takes place as part of public worship, it does not have to be on church premises; swimming pools and even the sea are often used. Baptism normally involves the person being fully immersed in the water.
At its heart is the symbolism of repentance and washing together with the resolve to end our old self focused way of life and start a new life in Christ, to be lived in a new way, with new priorities.
Firstly, giving thanks.
Despite the fantastic advances in medicine in general and care of the pregnant women and unborn child, there are real threats to the safety of both. The safe arrival of a new life and both mother and baby doing well is an obvious cause for thankfulness.
Secondly, seeking help.
In a generation where everything we get comes with an instruction book – it seems unbelievable that babies arrive without a “How to be a parent” manual! The responsibility for nurturing and raising a child is awesome.
As a community we want to pray for the parents in the new roles they fulfill and the sometimes conflicting pressures they will face. In the same way we want to pray for the baby as the journey of life with its inevitable delights and despairs is begun.
Both of these come together in a Service of Dedication, is part of a Sunday Service and which the minister will be happy to discuss with you.
Where Do Baptists Come From?
Today’s Baptist movement in Great Britain has its origins in the 16th and 17th centuries with people who, in conscience and concern for religious liberty, refused to be members of the Church of England; believing that Christ alone, and no monarch, could be head of the church.
This belief led to persecution, fines, imprisonment and even deportation to the then new states of North America.
It is believed that the first Baptist church in England met in 1612 in Spitalfields, London under the leadership of Thomas Helwys.
He argued that the church and the state be kept separate in matters of law, so that individuals might have a freedom of religious conscience.
Thomas Helwys was an advocate of religious liberty at a time when to hold to such views could be dangerous: indeed he died in prison, a consequence the religious persecution of Protestant dissenters under King James I.
The struggle continued until 1689 and the Act of Toleration.
Immanuel is part of the Baptist Union of Great Britain which is a collection of small and large congregations, set in urban and rural locations and made up of different nationalities expressing worship in a variety of ways yet united by a common purpose of changing lives and transforming communities with the message and love of Jesus Christ.
Within the UK we are not very large in number in turn: as part of the Baptist World Alliance we are lined with some of 214 similar Baptist groupings comprising a membership of 36 million baptized believers and an identifiable community of 105 million people.
What Is A Baptist Church?
In Baptist understanding “the church” is never a physical structure of bricks, stone and wood: it is a community of folk who gather as disciples of Jesus Christ for worship, witness and service.
Each worshipping community is self governing but does not exist in isolation from the others. The sharing of core values and understanding of the Bible creates an interdependence which is expressed at local, regional and national level to foster support, encouragement and development.
When a person is baptised in a Baptist church, they normally become a church member. Church members are called to prayerfully discern God’s will for their shared life.
As a community together they may appoint ministers, deacons and church officers for more effective working among them.
However final authority does not rest with those appointed or indeed with any other local, national or international body: the members meeting together under God’s guidance and the Bible are that final authority.
What’s A Baptist Service Like?
As we do not have a required form of service and each congregation develops its particular style.
Within this variety there is always an emphasis on praise, prayer, Bible teaching and sharing in Holy Communion.
At Immanuel we seek to balance the traditional and the contemporary so that our services are helpful and relevant to those who come to them.
Do You Do Weddings?
Immanuel’s premises have been authorised for Marriages and enquiries should be made via the contact page or look for further information on the weddings page.
Bible quotations indicated (NIV) are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton, a member of Hodder Headline Group. All rights reserved.
Bible quotations indicated (The Message) are taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.