Three or four times each year, we carry out adult baptisms during which the candidates publicly profess their own faith in Jesus Christ and are completely immersed in water. This symbolises a number of things, including washing from sin (wrongdoing) and dying to the old life lived without God and rising to new life with Christ. These are powerful and moving occasions, some of the best celebrations in our calendar!
Infant Baptism or Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
The arrival of a baby is a time of great joy and celebration! You may wish to seek God’s blessing for the new member of your family and be considering a thanksgiving or baptism. No parent can ask anything more significant for their child than having them grow up knowing God’s love personally and experiencing His presence in the centre of their family life.
We offer two services that may be appropriate for you and your child at this point: Thanksgiving and Infant Baptism (sometimes referred to as a ‘Christening’).
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
The birth or adoption of a child is a great 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. This service provides an opportunity for parents and families to give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and to pray for their family life.The child’s name is publicly affirmed and we pray for God’s blessing upon them. This service does not involve the formal appointing of godparents, but we would encourage you to choose some supporting friends who will have a similar role to godparents in supporting and helping you in the upbringing of your child. They will stand alongside you in the service and pledge their support.
Baptism is a formal sign of initiation into membership of the Christian faith, marking the beginning of a journey with God which is to continue for the rest of the child’s life. It is a joyful moment when parents and godparents make significant promises to God on behalf of the child and declare their own commitment to the Christian faith. The wider community of the local church and friends also welcome the new member of God’s family, promising support and prayer for the future.
The Church of England baptises infants on the understanding that their parents are believing, practising Christians who are committed to each other through marriage, and that their baptised children are brought up as Christians within the family of the local church. It is hoped that in time the baptised child will come to affirm themselves the vows made for them as a baby.
As well as joining us for Sunday worship, those considering infant baptism will need to attend some baptism preparation sessions, exploring the meaning of baptism and what this act of Christian commitment will mean for you and your child.
Coming to these sessions does not commit you to having a baptism and you may want to come along to investigate further before making a decision. These sessions are open to parents, other members of the family and potential godparents who may also find them helpful.
What happens next?
If you are interested in taking any of these further, please contact us on 01452 540307 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.