For many people, the arrival of a new child 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 (or Dedication) and Infant Baptism (sometimes called 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 publically 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.
While some church denominations only baptise adults, the Church of England baptises infants on the understanding that their parents are believing, practising Christians, committed to each other through marriage, and that they are brought up as Christians within the family of the local church.
What happens next?
If you are interested in taking it further, please contact the Parish Office
on 01372 813332. They will arrange for a member of the ‘New Life’ Team to make contact with you in the next few days and arrange a home visit so that we can discuss further with you the different options and what preparation for each will involve.
Baptism Preparation Sessions
As well as joining us for Sunday worship, those considering infant baptism will need to attend the three 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.
These sessions are held in the Dell Centre at St Giles' Church, 8:15-9:15pm, on the first Monday of the month (second if first is a Bank holiday).