Church of England Diocese of Ely

Sharing life events: Thanksgivings, Christenings & Baptism

Celebrating the birth of a child

There are certain moments in life that take our breath away – in ecstasy, in pain, in beauty, in wonder. The birth of a child is a historic and wondrous moment and a cause for celebration.

Many people are overcome by a sense of awe at the creation of new life and want to express their thanks to God. That is why Christians across the traditions offer services of prayer and blessing. Sometimes people find lighting a candle, perhaps at home, or church — or even online! — a good way to start thanking God for this wonderful gift. Why not give it a try?

Thanksgivings

At Pathfinder Church, Northstowe, we always start the celebrations about the birth of a child with a service of Thanksgiving. This can be a few simple prayers in the middle of one of our normal gatherings, or a bigger event. You can read more about these services here but the main thing is to come and meet us in person.

Christenings

For many people, there is also a desire to take the next step and have a Christening. During the christening, your child will be baptised with water. It’s a key step on an amazing journey with God, parents, godparents, friends, family, and the church. A central aspect of Christening is being welcomed into the local church family — symbolic of joining the timeless family of the church around the world and down the generations — so always involves the wider church too. However, you don’t have to have been christened yourself, and you don’t have to have been a regular churchgoer before.

At Pathfinder Church, Christenings usually happen several weeks after the Thanksgiving, during one of our main gatherings at the school. We can also celebrate Christenings in the nearby historic church buildings.

If you are interested in a Christening after the Thanksgiving service, we will talk about this when you meet with the minister. We often have several meetings, allowing you to find out more about the really significant promises you will be making, and also helping us as your local church to find out how best we can support you afterwards.

A good place to find out more is churchofenglandchristenings.org, although nothing beats a personal conversation, so please get in touch!

Responding to God’s love as an older child or adult

Whenever it happens, whether as a baby, child or adult, baptism is at the heart of an amazing journey of faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. You are never too old to take this step, and being baptized as an adult is a wonderful experience.

You may have been baptized at a christening when you were a child or in a different Christian tradition, and there are always special ways to renew the promises that were made then in a fresh way as you discover more about what it means to live them out in your life.

Come and walk with us at Pathfinder Church, and we’ll be more than happy to talk with you about these next steps.