The Baptismal Situation
100 year continued decline in % of live births baptised.
In last 5 years infant baptisms continuing to decline in numbers,
child baptisms steady, adult baptisms increasing and Thanksgivings after
a rise two years ago have declined to the 2002 level.
adult baptisms indicate that a generation of unbaptised are able to
declare their own faith
The BI website
issues can be broadly classified as follows:
“I am a student/ having study leave/ at Theological college. I am
preparing an essay etc. Can
you help with…” -
ranging to “put some pictures on this website so i can do my homework”.
for a huge range of material in connection with TV programmes, videos,
guidance for godparents and adult candidates, advice on legal
category which gives the greatest joy and encouragement
might sound really silly but how do I go about getting my baby son
Muslim ……can I be a godparent at all?
“I used to go to … church .
But I've been told this is a prodesent (sic) church and they
don't do christenings there” resulting in “We
had a lovely Service of Thanksgiving for our daughter, …. I have
spoken with many friends who had no idea such a service existed, and a
few are now wondering whether to pursue this option…”
“Until I found your site I felt a lurking guilt/confusion/upset that we
hadn't christened our daughter. I felt in my heart we had done the right
thing in leaving her to make up her own mind... but it made me feel a
bit of a social leper in some respects rather than as if we had made a
very carefully and difficult decision at a time when we felt very
Some heart-rending stories of custody and divorce and
questions come up under this heading.
For example, qualifications of parents and godparents, change of
name on baptism, who can baptise? age of godparents; how can I get a
copy of my baptism certificate?, “My friend was baptised
”, can you help?” “Can
I have a private baptism?”
who respond to my letters are generally supportive to our
“integrity” flag, but differ somewhat about our methods.
Churchgoers’ views will in
theory not be far from those of General Synod members.
The 1980s debates predictably showed opinion about baptismal
discipline was predominantly negative and the resulting “Reardon
Report” left status quo.
Our own 2005 survey
of GS members primarily directed towards views on the Thanksgiving
service indicated only 18% use
the service “regularly”, and 65% consider the service should be
“actively promoted” – including10% of those who “never” use
(from memory!) lead me to say
“BI International is there
to help the world – you need us!”