What is Baptism all about?
When we have a new baby our instinct is to do all that we can to provide them with nourishment, warmth, love and to make them feel happy and secure. Often, even if we had no interest in spiritual matters before having a family, the sheer wonder of creating and bringing a new life into the world makes us think about the meaning of life at a deeper level and we may wish to give our child the opportunity to benefit from being part of the family of God.
Baptism is about celebration, thanksgiving and welcome. It’s an occasion to celebrate the life of your child and to thank God for them and for His love and commitment to them. It’s also a time for your child to be welcomed into the family of the church both within our community and worldwide.
The role of godparents is very important in baptism. They are usually special friends or family members who are happy to be part of your child’s life as they grow up. Along with you they will be good role models for your child in how to live a good life and will be ready to help in encouraging your child’s faith and understanding of the love of God. During the baptism service the godparents will make promises to confirm this so it is important that the godparents themselves have been baptised. There is no expectation for you as parents to have been baptised however we can arrange for you and the godparents to be baptised as well, should you wish, either during the same or in a separate service.
You can also have a Thanksgiving Service as an alternative to Baptism. It’s a special service that is used to say thank you to God for your child and to pray for God’s blessing. It’s a service that recognises that some parents may not wish to have their child baptised immediately. Although your child will not be baptised during the service you can choose supporting friends and family to be sponsors, rather than godparents, who will support you in bringing up your child and they take part in the service.
Taking the next steps
If you would like to arrange for you, your child or children to be baptised or to arrange a Thanksgiving Service and would like to chat about it further then please contact our Rector Revd Paul Irving on 01823 771968 or email him at [email protected]
Meanwhile here is a short prayer for you to share as a family at bedtime:
God, we thank you for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day.
Lay Pastoral Assistant