Baptism (sometimes called Christening)
The way into church membership is through the ceremony of baptism. It is open to people of any age who seek to find and to follow the Christian path. It is important to understand the promises you will make for yourself or on behalf of your child and what baptism means so we ask that you attend one evening of preparation where the service and its significance can be explained and your questions answered.
In St Giles Church, baptism is usually conducted in the All Age Sunday service of worship because, as well as words and promises for the parents, godparent or the adult candidates themselves to say, there are words for the congregation to say in their support. The baptism is a meeting together of candidates and congregation and we see baptism as the beginning of this partnership. In the ceremony, the candidate enters into the family of the church and we seek to be a supportive and effective family for each and every new member!
Service of Thanksgiving for the birth of a Child
This service is for those who simply wish to give thanks and celebrate the arrival of a new child into the family and to pray for God’s blessing on the family. This might be to welcome an adopted child into the family or for parents who do not want their child baptised immediately. It can be a stepping stone towards baptism and may involve supporting friends and a naming ceremony. This service does not require parents to commit to any promises and does not involve water but enables them to celebrate and give thanks for the arrival of a new family member together with supporting friends.
A service of thanksgiving does not need to take place as part of a Sunday service but may be at mid-day following the main service on any Sunday or at other times – maybe even as part of Messy Church!
What should we do next?
Contact us to talk about the service that will best suit your family and to ask any questions. Looking ahead is a good way to avoid disappointment, since your family diary will need to blend successfully with the church diary to find that special date!
Do we have to live in the parish?
Usually, children should be baptised in the church of the parish where they live so they become part of that church family but it is possible to be baptised in another church – do ask if you are in doubt.
May we have a private service of baptism?
Baptisms normally take place in the church’s main service so that the church community can welcome your child into the church family. If this is difficult for you, please talk to us.
What about Godparents?
Godparents are trusted friends of the family whose role is to help bring up the child as a Christian. For this reason, godparents should have been baptised (and confirmed if possible). There should be three godparents – again, do ask if you are in any doubt.
What sort of preparation do we need for baptism?
There will usually be one evening session to introduce you to the church, explain the service and explore the journey of faith the family will be starting with the church and godparents but please come and visit us and experience some services for yourself if you are not already familiar with St Giles Church.
What happens after baptism?
Once you are baptised, you belong not only to your local church family but to the world wide Christian community! All of us need each other’s support to develop our faith. Normally, our church runs a mother and toddler group and Messy Church once a month which are especially for young families in the village. We also welcome families at our Sunday services where children enjoy their own teaching during the service.
What are sponsors?
Sponsors also offer support to those who are baptised as adults and accompany them on their spiritual journey. They also should have been baptised.
Do we need to pay?
There is no fee for baptism or for a service of thanksgiving but please make an offering if you wish.