Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others. Committing them to God through a thanksgiving or baptism service is just the beginning of this and so much more.
A special church service called a Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child is an occasion for you, your friends and family to celebrate and thank God for the gift of a new baby or young child, to pray for God’s blessing on them and welcome them into the Church family. It’s possible to have this service instead of a baptism if you are not a committed Christian, or you decide that now isn’t the right time to have your child baptized. Or, you could even have the Thanksgiving service initially and choose to have a baptism later. You might choose this service when your baby is just born, or if you have adopted a child into your family and you simply want to celebrate this with special words said by a minister in church. Whatever the reason, we would be delighted to talk to you more about this service.
Families that have a faith in Christ and are attending church may wish to help their child start on the journey of faith through baptism. Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
– Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
– Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
– Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
– Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
In the service, parents and godparents make some big promises to support the child throughout his/her life. You’ll be asked:
– “Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?”
– “Will you care for them, and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?”
To the questions above, the parents and godparents answer: “With the help of God we will”.
You will then be asked some questions which you answer on behalf of a child who is too young to answer for themselves:
– You will be asked to turn away from all things that are against God – the wrong in our own lives and to stand against the wrong in the world.
– You will then be asked to turn positively towards Jesus, the companion and guide for the amazing journey ahead.
These are big promises – to explore whether this is the right service for you and your child, have a chat with Ross the Rector at one of our services. We will organise a baptism preparation session to explore all the issues with you.
When people choose to give their lives to Christ and become Christians we encourage those who were not baptized as infants to be prepared for baptism as an adult. Adult baptisms take place in the context of our Sunday services.
For those who come to faith as adults but know they were baptized as children there is the opportunity instead to publicly re–affirm the promises that others made on their behalf when they were baptized. There is a special opportunity each year for people to re–affirm their Baptismal promises in the context of a Confirmation Service. As well as re–affirming baptismal vows those being confirmed receive prayer by the Bishop of our Diocese with the laying on of hands. It is a powerful moment when the Bishop lays hands on someone and the whole congregation prays for God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live life Jesus’ way. Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptized and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship.Contact us