Baptism is the symbol of commitment to the Christian faith and welcome into the family of God. People of all ages are welcome to be baptised in our parish.
Baptisms (christenings) and thanksgiving services for children
We are delighted that you would like to come to our parish to mark the birth of your child. We offer two different services to mark this occasion, a service of thanksgiving or a service of baptism or christening as they are often called. We hope that one of them will be right for you.
What is thanksgiving?
The service of thanksgiving is the opportunity to say thank you to God for your son or daughter.
In the service we ask you to name your child and we will pray that God’s blessing will be on them and your family. We will give you a certificate and a Bible to mark this special occasion.
If you decide to have a thanksgiving service, you still have the option to have a baptism service for your child at a later date, when you have had the opportunity to think further about all that baptism entails. (Some people choose to wait until their child is mature enough to take this decision for themself.)
What is baptism?
At baptism you promise to raise your child in the Christian faith and to help them follow Jesus as a member of the local church. Baptism therefore marks one of the most significant stages in a person’s life.
Process for arranging a baptism or thanksgiving
We ask everyone to attend a short Baptism and Thanksgiving Preparation Course to help you reflect upon this important decision that you are taking and the promises you will be asked to make at your child’s baptism. It involves attending 3 sessions lasting approximately an hour each and they are usually held on a midweek evening.
Baptism and thanksgiving services always take place as part of a Sunday morning service so that the whole church family has the opportunity to welcome you and your child into the church. In the baptism service the church community is also asked to make promises to help your child as they grow up in the Christian faith.
Our Baptisms happen on the 4th Sunday of the month at St Barnabas Church and the 3rd Sunday of the month at St Agnes.
If you live in the Parish and would like arrange either baptism or thanksgiving service then please contact the Parish Office and book a place on a Baptism and Thanksgiving Preparation Course. When you have completed this we will be able to offer you a date for the baptism or thanksgiving service.
Thinking about godparents
We suggest you choose three godparents. Traditionally, two are of the same sex as your child and one of the other sex. At least one parent and all of the godparents need to have been baptised themselves and in the service they will be asked to affirm their Christian faith before God and others.
It is important to think carefully about your choice and to choose people whom you trust to be involved in your child’s life, and will pray for them as they grow up.
If you were not baptised as a child and wish to publicly declare your Christian faith in church and join the church family through adult baptism we would love to hear from you.
It is also possible for you to renew the baptism promises that were made on your behalf when you were a child.
Before you do this we simply ask that you worship regularly with us and attend a preparation course (such as Alpha) and share your story of faith with us before deciding to take this significant step.
Please contact the Parish Office for more information about adult baptism in our Parish.