There is an increasing rediscovery and appreciation of the importance and meaning of baptism which places it at the heart of Christian life and mission. Baptism is much more than a beginning to the Christian life. It expresses the identity which is ours in Jesus Christ and the shape of the life to which we are called.
Our celebration of baptism and confirmation should help us all to see ourselves as a Baptised Community, called to partake in the life of God and to share in the mission of God to the world. Therefore, if there are candidates to be baptised, it cannot be too strongly emphasised that this should take place at the time of the actual confirmation. Moreover, baptism is about admission into the Universal Church and not simply into the local community. The Bishop is, therefore, the normal minister of adult baptisms, representing this wider dimension of the Church; the presenting minister is asked to make the sign of the cross (with the oil of baptism, if desired).
The Bishops are happy to baptise by immersion where this is the custom of the Church. Otherwise, the main font should be used, where possible, and plenty of water available, for baptism is not a dabbing or sprinkling, but a flowing or pouring of water onto the candidate. Although water may be put into the font before the service, it is important for there to be some water to be poured into the font at the time when the water is blessed, so that the congregation can both hear and see that this is 'living water'.
It is important that all members of the congregation have copies of the appropriate texts to follow and the candidates should have been clearly instructed in what to expect.