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Joining the Church

Our church is open to everyone who wishes to join us, to encounter God in the words of scripture, in prayer and song and also in one another. We welcome visitors, and if you normally receive Holy Communion in another church we invite you to share with us when you visit.

If you wish to join our church we encourage you to fill out a visitor’s slip so that we can keep in touch and if you wish our parish priest can arrange a visit with you to discuss any questions or particular needs. This section outlines the steps leading to full membership of the church either as a child or as an adult. These steps are briefly described below, and you can find more detail in the following pages:

1. Baptism (sometimes called ‘christening’) - this signifies that a person has been received into the church and wishes to follow the way of Jesus. Infants and children may be brought for baptism by their parents, who promise to bring up their children in the faith of the church. Adults may also be baptised if they were not baptised as children.

2. First communion - holy communion is able to be received by all baptised Christians. When children who have been baptised are old enough to understand what is being shared in communion they are formally ‘admitted’ to the sacrament. Normally this occurs around the age of 5-6 years.

3. Confirmation - The rite of confirmation is normally received by young people when they are around 16 years old, and this requires them to confirm for themselves the promises made for them at baptism. When adults are baptised they are normally confirmed on the same day. Confirmation is administered by the bishop with the laying on of hands.

Whereas baptism is a universal sacrament of the Church accepted by all the mainstream denominations, confirmation confers membership of a particular church: the Anglican Church of Australia. If you have been baptised in another church you can be confirmed in the Anglican Church. If you were baptised and confirmed in another church, you can be received into the Anglican Church through an informal rite of admission.

People over the age of 16 who have been baptised and who are either confirmed or wish to be confirmed may become voting members of a particular Anglican parish - in this case, the Parish of Swan. This signifies that you wish to attend our church regularly, and also enables you to attend and vote at Annual Meetings and hold office in our parish. If you would like to enrol as a member of the parish you can download the application form here.

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