26 September 2006
The Church of England today published three sets of resources to equip local parishes with tools to help mark major milestones in a Christian’s journey of faith. The new materials have been developed in response to calls from churches for quality resources to help celebrate baptisms and confirmations – the two major services at which Christians make a public affirmation of their faith or their commitment to raising a child in that faith.
For the first time, the Church of England’s official publisher has created a range of certificates to record Baptism, Confirmation and Becoming a Godparent. Designed to complement the award-winning design of other Common Worship material, the bright certificates act as a reminder of the promises made at these services, and help parishes to fulfil their duty to give those involved a permanent reminder of the day. Each certificate has a prayer from one of the services from Common Worship: Christian Initiation series on the reverse.
Today’s launch also sees the Church’s first official range of Baptism and Confirmation Cards, primarily to help parish churches celebrate these important milestones in the lives of their members. The set, created by independent illustrator Craig Cameron and including cards designed to match the visual style of The Baptism Book and The Baptism Cube published earlier this year, also includes a card to mark baptism anniversaries - so that churches can maintain good contact with families for whom they have conducted a baptism.
The third of the new materials, Words for Life, is a set of double-sided cards specially designed to be used during the Presentation of the Four Texts, one of the new liturgies published in Common Worship: Christian Initiation earlier this year. The service was created to give churches an authorised liturgy that could be used creatively alongside evangelism and nurture courses such as Emmaus and Alpha to mark a step towards baptism or confirmation, or possibly as a re-affirmation of the vows taken at these services. The attractive design of the cards – which show Jesus’ Summary of the Law, The Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed and the Beatitudes – means they could also be presented as a gift or used as a personal prayer aid.
The Revd Peter Moger, National Worship Development Officer for the Church of England, is encouraged by the demand for these resources: “143,600 people were baptised in the Church of England in 2004, alongside 30,400 confirmations. These are very considerable numbers and these new materials will help the Church of England open its arms wide to welcome those who want to make a commitment to grow in their Christian faith.”
Christian Initiation certificates priced £4.99 for a pack of 10 (Baptism 0 7151 2107 3, Godparent 0 7151 2108 1, Confirmation 0 7151 2109 X); Baptism and Confirmation Cards, priced £5.99 for a pack of 10 (Child Baptism 0 7151 2116 2, Adult Baptism 0 7151 2115 2, Baptism Anniversary Cards 0 7151 2123 5, Confirmation Card with Sun motif 07151 2118 9, Confirmation Card with Cross motif 0 7151 2117 0); Words for Life, priced £3.99 for a pack of 4 (ISBN 0 7151 2196 5); are all available from Christian bookshops including Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020 7898 1300, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web (mail order available).