Getting the baby "done" - is Baptism or Thanksgiving right for you?

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. A new life is well worth celebrating and thanking God for and many families, even if they are not regular worshippers, recognise that there is something very special and important about bringing their babies and children to church for this.

Getting the baby "done" - is Baptism or Thanksgiving right for you?

Here at All Saints' many families bring small children and babies to be Christened (or Baptised which is the church's word for it.) We are always delighted when parents want their child to be welcomed into the community of the church and promise to bring the child up in the faith of Christ, pray for and with the child and bring him or her to family worship in order to give the child an informed understanding of what faith is about. The old word "Christening" means "en-Christing" or clothing a child in Christ! It has nothing to do with giving the child a name!

Baptism is a huge deal for Christians and means that the child is cleansed of sin and born again in the spirit to walk as a child of God. Ordinary water and oil are transformed by prayer and simple ritual into the means of spiritual salvation for the child both in his or her earthly life and after death. Those are big supernatural concepts and often well outside the experience of people who have not themselves had any grounding in the Christian faith. It can all sound a bit Harry Potter! For that reason anyone bringing a baby to be baptised will be required to attend a meeting with the vicar to ensure that you understand what is actually going to happen and the promises you will be making on behalf of your little one, that you know the obligations of parents and godparents and that you agree with the basic intention of baptism.

Realistically, for some families it is not the initiation into faith that is important but the celebration of the child and a good excuse for a family party. If that is the case you might like to consider a simple service of Thanksgiving for the Life of a Child instead of full blown baptism. Contact the vicar and work out what the right service is for you. She’ll be delighted to help either way!

caption
caption

caption

caption
caption

caption

« back to page list

Top