Thanksgivings and Baptisms (for babies, children and adults)
When a new baby arrives it’s natural to want to celebrate this special event with family and friends, and to say ‘thank you’ for the wonderful gift of a new life
SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING
A Service of Thanksgiving 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. If parents wish to recognise the role of supporting friends, they can be invited to stand with the parents at the thanksgiving. The child is first named and blessed; we then pray for them and for God’s help and blessing for you in the raising of your child.
By choosing a Service of Thanksgiving for your child, you enable them – when they are older – to decide for themselves whether they would like to be baptised.
A Service of Thanksgiving can take place during a Sunday morning service, or in the afternoon.
If you would like to talk about booking a Service of Thanksgiving, please contact the church Office 01342 810757
Baptism (also known as ‘Christening’) marks the beginning of a journey with God, which continues for the rest of our lives; for some it’s the first step in their response to God’s love. It’s a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ; and in response we make promises and declare the Christian faith.
If you are bringing your child to baptism, you and the child’s godparents will be required to answer questions on the child’s behalf during the service. You will be expected to pray for them at home and to bring them up in an awareness of what God in Jesus Christ has done for us; among other things this means helping them to take their place within the life and worship of the Church.
These are serious promises, undertaken in church in the presence of God, and should not therefore be taken lightly. If you and the godparents don’t feel ready to make these promises at this time, you may feel more comfortable with a Service of Thanksgiving (see above), giving the child the opportunity to decide for him/herself when they are older that they wish to be baptised.
Attendance at a Baptism preparation meeting will be required prior to booking the baptism. These are held a few weeks before the service..
To book a service of baptism we ask you to call into the Church to pick up a leaflet and a letter about the Baptism Preparation meetings. Please contact the Church Office to arrange to visit.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MANY GODPARENTS?
There’s no particular rule, but for infant/child baptism it’s usual to choose up to 3 godparents, not all the same gender, to take the vows on the child’s behalf. The godparents must have been baptised as Christians themselves and be people who will be a good moral and spiritual influence on your child. They should be people you know very well, who will remain in close contact with the child as they grow up, and who you would confidently put your trust in to take good care of your child in your absence.
WHEN WILL THE SERVICE TAKE PLACE?
Most baptisms in the parishes of St. Margaret’s and All Saints take place at our Family Service ( Third Sunday at St. Margaret’s) but if families particularly request a baptism in the context of a regular morning service, or after the service that can also be arranged.
HOW MUCH DOES A BAPTISM SERVICE COST?
There are no fees for a baptism service, but you can of course choose to make a donation to the church. A baptism Certificate will cost £12.
I DON’T LIVE IN THE PARISH OF ST MARGARET’S . CAN I STILL HAVE MY CHILD BAPTISED THERE?
Baptisms normally take place in the parish where you live, but if you have a connection with this parish (for example you were married or baptised here) we will be happy to arrange for the service to be held here. You must, however, first obtain the permission of the Vicar or Rector of the parish where you live.
CAN I BE BAPTISED AS AN ADULT?
Certainly – there’s no age limit, and we love to welcome adults into the Christian faith in this way! Our Vicar handles these directly – but please feel free to contact the Church Office to open the discussion.