At St Andrew's we welcome the opportunity to receive people into the family of the church through baptism, also known as christening ('being made like Christ').
Two things occur in baptism. Firstly, God through the Holy Spirit makes a person a new creation. In spiritual terms, he or she is born again. Baptism acknowledges the person as a child of God. Secondly, a person also becomes a member of the Christian church. Baptism is the initiation rite of the church.
In baptism, the promises of God are visibly signed and sealed for us. We are joined to Christ, and made members of his body, the Church Universal, not just the Anglican Church. Baptism at St Andrew's is recognised by other most other members of the National Council of Churches in Australia, including the Roman Catholic Church and many Orthodox churches in Australia.
Baptisms can be performed either as a part of the regular Sunday morning Eucharist Service or, as is more often the case, as a stand-alone service (Popular times are Saturday or late Sunday morning).
In confirmation, the candidate confirms the promises made (usually on their behalf when they were an infant) at their baptism. While confirmation is not strictly speaking a sacrament, it is still required to be a fully communicant member of the Anglican Church.
Confirmees may be sponsored by a member of the Anglican parish in which they are to be confirmed, but this is not mandatory.
Preparation for confirmation usually involves instruction by the parish priest, and confirmation is carried out by the bishop and usually within the context of a service of the Eucharist. In the past people usually wore white for confirmation, but this is no longer expected.
During Confirmation, the bishop extends his or her hands over all the candidates while he or she says the prayer for the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. The confirmee may be anointed with oil marking a sign of the cross on the forehead.
Preparation for confirmation provides an opportunity to journey with others, while affirming and strengthening our Christian faith. Arrangements can be made to accommodate those who are interested in Confirmation but are not baptised. Confirmation classes of about 8 weeks duration are arranged each year as required and are led by a member of the clergy.