22 February 2006
Baptism is a major milestone on the Christian journey but finding appropriate materials to help young children understand the significance of the event can be a tough challenge. Tackling this head on are two new resources published this month by Church House Publishing, which aim to bring the baptism service to life for young children.
My Baptism Book and The Baptism Cube have been produced in response to demand from children’s work specialists in dioceses and parishes across the Church of England and follow the success of previous publications such as The Communion Cube (and accompanying book) and The Lord’s Prayer Cube.
The new resources, written by the Church’s National Children’s Officer, Diana Murrie, explore the life-giving nature of water, the biblical background to the sacrament, and the symbolism of the baptism service. The cube unfolds to reveal a series of vivid illustrations using clear language to appeal to young ears and eyes and, together with the book, the resources create a complementary package unparalleled in the current Christian marketplace.
Through the use of questions and reflective prompts, both items aim to help children understand this important milestone in their lives, whether as preparation before the event or as a way of helping explain the significance when they are slightly older. Designed primarily for one-to-one use between a child and an adult, they are also suitable for use in parent and toddler clubs or other group settings.
A unique and personal reminder of a child’s baptism, The Baptism Cube and My Baptism Book have been produced with the Church’s mission-shaped agenda firmly in mind. Fully grasping the opportunities presented by baptism and other occasional offices is a key priority for many parishes and Diana Murrie believes that her new resources could help meet this challenge: “As churches continue to focus on ensuring that each and every baptism is a quality experience for the child, their family, friends and supporters, these resources can really open doors for parishes who are seeking quality materials to support their mission.
“The book and cube are great gifts for the church or godparents to give to newly-baptised children. By following this up with steps like sending a card to the child on the anniversary of their baptism, or sending personal invitations for Crib Services or other child-oriented events, we can quite easily develop a manageable contact programme that engages those families who have sought out their local church to mark their child’s initiation into the Christian faith,” says Diana.
“Baptism is a wonderful opportunity for celebration by children, family and friends. The Baptism Cube is a fun way to explain the service clearly, so that everyone, young and old, can feel involved,” adds Margaret Withers, Archbishop’s Officer for Evangelism among Children.
My Baptism Book has been produced in both hardback and paperback editions. The paperback is also available in a pack six for the price of five for church groups wishing to buy in bulk. Special offers on multiple orders of The Baptism Cube are also available. The resources are also supported by a dedicated website which provides further ideas and advice on how to use the resources to their full potential.
My Baptism Book and The Baptism Cube are published by Church House Publishing, with the book priced £6.99 (hardback), £4.99 (paperback) and £24.95 (pack of 6 paperbacks). The Baptism Cube is priced £5.99. They are available to purchase from all Christian bookshops and Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020-7898 1300, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web (mail order available).