• Baptism of Joseph!

    With parents Clare and Martin & sister Lily

  • Our Gardening Group

    Some members hard at work!

  • Guild of St Stephen

    Our newly enrolled servers!

  • Caitlin's Mexico Trip! Thank You!

    We helped in rehabs, orphanages, refuge houses and gave supplies to those living in extreme poverty. Also the house build was so rewarding when we gave the family the keys to their new home. Thanks granny Maureen for helping me so much x

  • Isabelle's Baptism!

    Parents Andy and Lucille and Godparents with Fr Brett

  • Austin's Baptism!

    Parents Aaron and Nicola and family with Fr Brett

  • Andy and Michelle's Marriage Blessing!

    Congratulations!

  • Jason's Christening!

    With Fr Brett are Parents Ola and Betty & Godparents

  • George's Christening!

    With Fr Brett are parents Liz and Adam Moore

  • Confirmation 2018!

    Bishop Alan and Fr Brett with our fabulous Confirmani!

  • Lily Belle's Baptism!

    Fr Brett with proud parents Neil and Daisy

  • Congratulations Harry!

    Harry’s Baptism: Fr Brett with parents Harriette and Toby

  • Our Parish Church

    Ness Road Shoeburyness

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The Baptism of Our Lord - Year C

FAITH IN FOCUS: BAPTISM RING?

If a man or woman wears a ring on their finger it’s often a sign that they are married. It’s a way of reminding themselves and others that they’ve committed themselves to another person totally and forever. But just wearing the ring doesn’t make them married; nor does it automatically make them faithful. It’s a sign or symbol of their commitment. If they’re to be faithful to each other then they have to live out their commitment day in day out. The same is true of baptism. Baptism is a sacramental sign that we have been given salvation in Christ. But just being baptised doesn’t mean we’re “saved”. Our baptism has to be a genuine sign, like the ring. We have to live out our baptism rather than simply acting as though it was something that was over and done with one Sunday in church long ago.

There’s a difference between a wedding and a marriage. You can get a wedding planner to help you make your big day go well but you can’t get a marriage planner. That’s because a wedding only lasts a day but a marriage lasts a lifetime and needs working at day after day. Perhaps we could say that a “Christening” takes a day but a baptism takes a lifetime. Christians need to work at their baptism just like a married couple need to work at their marriage.

When a person is baptised by being fully immersed in water, what we are witnessing is essentially a type of funeral. We are saying that this man or woman in going down into the tomb with Christ and rising again to new life. The old person that they used to be is now dead and buried, and they are taking on a new life in Christ.

So when we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord we are reminded that every day brings a fresh opportunity for us to work on our own baptism: to offer God the best we have (to be priests), to speak out about the values of God’s kingdom (to be prophets) and to protect and enhance the creation that God has gifted us with (to be kings and queens). Baptism is not a step that some adults can take. For those of us who have already taken it, today’s feast is an occasion for thanksgiving and recommitment.

Take care,

Fr Brett

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