Welcome to the website of the Anglican Parish of Prince William, Dumfries, Queensbury, and Southampton. Thank you for taking the time to visit with us and discovering a little bit about our parish.
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Father David Mercer, Priest in Charge
To find out more about us, please click on the About us link.

News & Events


Service of Holy Eucharist each Sunday at St Clements Church
11 AM

The Catechism in the Prayer Book tells us it is ”An Instruction to be learned be every person
before he or she be brought to be Confirmed by the Bishop”. The Catechism is an old method
of learning that was used to teach. The word catechism means “to learn by echoing back”. It is
a method of learning by question and answer.
The first section of the Catechism is entitled “The Baptismal Covenant” A covenant is an
agreement to which the parties agree and promise to keep. This agreement is entered into on
the assumption that those who make the promises will honour those promises. The Church
has baptized all who come seeking it. Anyone who is baptized is asked if they repent of their
sins and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. They are also asked if they are willing to live the
Christian Life. It makes sense that these questions can be asked of adults but how can or does
the Church justify the Baptism of children. It is obvious that children and in particular infants
cannot make such promises. In order to answer this question we need to take a step back and
examine what actually takes place in baptism itself.
The Catechism tells us that in Baptism a person is “made a member of Christ, a child of God
and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.” If something is ‘made” something or someone
must have made it because nothing makes itself. Baptism is something that is do done to you
by someone else. We believe that baptism is a Sacrament and the Catechism tells us that a
Sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”. We also believe
that it effects what it symbolizes. In other words, it actually does what the sign appears to do.
The sign in a sacrament is the physical element, in this case the physical sign is water. The
phrase that is used to describe what takes place in Baptism is “regeneration”. The term means
“to be born again”. In our Lord’s conversation with Nicodemus Jesus tells him that he must be
“born again”. (Saint John 3 v. 5). When Saint Paul writes his letter to Titus he calls Baptism the
“washing of regeneration” (Titus 3 v. 5). Saint Peter goes even further, he tells us that as the ark
saves Noah and his family from the waters of destruction, so “Baptism which corresponds to
this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear
conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3 v. 21).
What does all this mean? God acts through the physical medium of water to convey his Grace
and recreates us as new beings freed from the “Sin of Adam.” As the result of the waters of
Baptism we are made new creatures. We are regenerate in Christ. It is very important to
remember in all of this that this is something that God does to us. Baptism is a God action.
What then is our role in all of this? The word to describe our role is “Conversion.” The word
conversion come from the Latin word “convertio” and means “To turn around”. Conversion
results from an act of our will. You or I decide to change, to turn away from evil and to the
good. We are converted every day of our lives, dare I say every hour, every minute. As a result
of this, we baptize children, we baptize babies because the sooner we enter into the New
Covenant the sooner we begin to grow in God’s Grace. Remember that it is God that acts in
Baptism. We have Godparents who take on the responsibility for seeing that the child is
brought up in the Faith and is led to live the Christian Life. They promise to be sure that the
child be brought up in the Faith and in time be Confirmed by the Bishop in order that they may
take Communion and take their part in the life of the Church.
In Baptism promises are made by Godparents, by Parents and by the Church Community that
they will do all in their power to see that this child will be brought up in the Faith of the Church.
I wonder what often happens after Baptism. When I talk to Parents and Godparents about the
promises that they make at the child’s Baptism they often become very defensive. In fact I
have been told that it is none of my business. But it is my business as the Parish Priest.
Promises have been made and these promises have to do with eternal life and the spiritual life
of all of us. These promises are some of the most important that we will ever make.We are and


Contact Us

Father David Mercer, Priest in Charge

Anglican Parish of Prince William
6832 Rte. 102
Dumfries, N.B.
E6G 1P1

Audrey Cernivz,
Apr 17, 2020, 8:23 AM