LIFE EVENTS: BAPTISM
The birth of a child is an exciting time in the life of any family. Children are a wonderful gift from God and it is natural that parents often want to find a way of giving thanks. Parents also have great hopes for their child, which often involves seeing their child grow up in the Christian faith. We are able to offer, to those who live in the parish or worship regularly at Christ Church, two services that you may like to choose for you and your child.
Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
A thanksgiving is a short service in which we thank God for the child and pray God’s blessing on them. Parents sometimes choose this service when they want to leave baptism until the child can choose it for him/herself, but would still like to give thanks for their child; or when they don’t feel comfortable making the promises and declarations in the baptism service, but recognise that something has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God.
Baptism of a child
In a baptism service, the child is baptised on the understanding that they will be brought up within the Christian faith and that their faith will be nurtured in the home and within a local church congregation. In the service, parents and godparents make declarations and promises about their own faith and about their intention to nurture their child’s faith.
There are a number of simple ways in which parents can begin to nurture their child’s faith. It’s important to start belonging to a local church with groups for children. Parents can start reading Bible stories from a children’s Bible and praying simple prayers with their child, perhaps at bedtime. Parents can also encourage their children by showing them what it means to live as a Christian by their own example.
It’s an exciting new beginning for you and your child and we are here to encourage and support you.
If you are wanting to explore baptism for your child and have not yet been to Christ Church, we would love to welcome you to our 10am Sunday service and midweek groups for families and young children. Here you will be able to get to know and join us as a church family and grow deeper in your own faith and trust in God. Please be sure to introduce yourselves to the welcome team so that we know to look out for you and can help you connect with others.
Baptisms take place once a month during our 10am service following a short baptism preparation course led by a member of the staff team. The preparation course will help you explore the meaning of baptism, and understand the promises that you will be making during the service.
If you would like to chat further about which service would be better for you and your child, please contact the Parish Office on 01483 567072 and one of the staff team will be in touch with you shortly.
We also offer baptism for those who have not previously been baptised, but would like to affirm their commitment to Christ as an adult, as well as reaffirmation of vows with immersion for those who have previously been baptised. Please contact the Parish Office to find out more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Baptism and Christening?
There is no difference they are just different words for the same thing.
Is my child ‘worse off’ if I choose Thanksgiving?
God loves encompasses your child whether you choose a service of Baptism or Thanksgiving. The most important thing is to work out what is best for you and your child at this stage and we will talk through the options with you.
What if I would like my child baptised but don’t feel we can make a full commitment to Jesus Christ & His Church?
It is important that at least one parent is able to say the baptismal promises with integrity. If you are not certain at this stage, there is no rush. Take time to find out more about the Christian faith by coming along to Christ Church or chatting with a member of the staff team.
What is the role of Godparents?
The Baptism service involves parents and Godparents making promises to bring up the child in the knowledge of God, to pray for them regularly and to be on the Christian journey themselves. Normally the family will chose Godparents who will pray for the child and take a keen interest in their day to day life and spiritual upbringing. Godparents must themselves be baptised Christians.
How many Godparents do we need?
There are usually two or three Godparents.
What is it that I am promising on behalf of my child?
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you trust in Christ, and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. This declaration states that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ
How can I keep the promises made at Baptism?
The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the church family here will promise to support you and pray for you and your child. Continuing to worship as part of our church family will help you and your child grow in faith alongside others.
Do both parents need to be baptised?
No but it is helpful for you to be able to affirm for yourself the promises you are making for your child.