Baptisms at St Mary's
A child is a wonderful gift from God and it’s right that we want to celebrate such a fantastic present. The Church of England offers two approaches - thanksgiving and baptism
Both are ways of celebrating the life of your child which involve making promises to God with the support of close friends.
Both offer the opportunity for a family celebration, and take place in church so the church can welcome and commit themselves to pray for you in the nurture of your child.
The main difference is in the extent and depth of Christian commitment that each form of service expresses.
If you want to thank God for the gift of your child, but do not want to make the solemn promises before God and other people that baptism involves, then the thanksgiving service is for you. Thanksgiving is also for those who feel they want to acknowledge God and seek his help in the child’s upbringing. Of course, your child can always be baptized later on as well, should you, or the child (when older and able understand the promises made) want this.
Baptism is for the children of parents who are, or want to be practicing Christians. The Christian faith is a personal relationship with God through Christ. This relationship is open to us not on the basis of how good we are, but as a gift. (Much though this surprises many, the Christian faith is not about "being good enough to go to heaven"…).
St Mary's offers both Thanksgivings and baptisms. Because baptism is so tied-in with being part of the church family, baptisms take place at our Family Service (10.45am on the 1st Sunday of the month), so that everyone can join in welcoming your child. Thanksgivings can take place within the Family Service but can also take place outside of a main service. Please discuss the date of the service with us before you make any other arrangements (e.g. parties etc.)
For more information, please contact us, or drop-in to the church - it's usually open for refreshments on a Thursday morning between 8.45am and 12.00 midday (except on the first Thursday of the month).