It is lovely that you are thinking about baptism or looking to have your child baptised. We hope this information will help you make the right choices for your family because, when it comes to your child's journey of faith, important decisions need to be made.
We offer two options for parents - Baptism and Thanksgiving. These are different and the choice does not need to be made right away.
Baptisms (sometimes known as Christenings) take place during our main morning service. Baptism involves publicly stating that we accept God's call on our lives and want the same for our children.
When you have your baby baptised, you are declaring that you would like your child to grow up knowing God's love and to follow Jesus for the rest of their life as a member of his Church. This can be seen in the promises made during the service. Parents and godparents are asked to declare that they themselves are followers of Jesus and will bring the baby up as a member of the Christian church.
These are serious promises. It's therefore important that parents have a chance to think through the meaning of baptism and whether it's what they want. We, therefore, ask anyone who's thinking about baptism to meet with the Rector on 3 occasions to go through the basics of what it means to follow Jesus. We, therefore, expect them to be regular at Sunday services so they get to know the church into which their babies will be welcomed and nurtured in the faith.
At the birth or adoption of a child, many parents feel that they would like to say 'thank you' to God for a new life and a new addition to the family, but are as yet unsure about whether they can fully commit to the Christian faith.
The Service of 'Thanksgiving for the birth of a child' offers an opportunity to do simply say 'thank you'.
You may feel that this is the right thing for you to do. It is nice if a Thanksgiving forms part of the main Sunday Service, but it can be a separate and more private occasion. However, it still provides the opportunity for you and your child to be prayed for. With Thanksgiving there is no need to make any public promises to God or regularly attend church.
What follows are a number of questions for you to think about. Considered carefully, these will help you decide whether Baptism or Thanksgiving would be right for you and your child.
Considering the options
• Am I prepared to the best of my ability to give my child a Christian upbringing within the family of Christ's Church?
• Will I help the child to be regular in public worship and private prayer, not only through teaching, but by my example?
• Will I pray regularly for my child?
• Will I encourage my child in due time to come to Confirmation and Communion?
• Can I make the promises that will be required of me in the Baptism Service with integrity?
If you think carefully about all the above questions, you will realise that having a child baptised involves you in a commitment to the Christian faith as much as it does the child. Because of this it is important that a period of preparation precedes the Baptism, especially for those who have had very little contact with the Church.
Some parents take this opportunity to reflect on their own Christian faith. The Rector would be pleased to spend some of this time discussing with you matters of faith and the meaning of baptism. It is also an opportunity for you to ask any question you like in a relaxed atmosphere.
If you would like to enquire more about arranging a Thanksgiving or wish to investigate the possibility of Baptism or have any further questions, please email us or call 01359 240512.