Thinking about asking God’s blessing upon your child?
We would very pleased to help you.
A child is a wonderful gift from God and it’s right to celebrate such a fantastic present. The church of England offer two approaches – thanksgiving and baptism.
Both are ways of celebrating the life of your child which involve coming before God with the support of close friends.
Both offer the opportunity for a family celebration, and take place during a church service so all the church members can welcome and commit themselves to pray for you in the caring of your child. The main difference is in the extent and depth of Christian commitment that each form of service expresses.
1. Thanksgiving for the gift of a child is a celebration to mark the birth and naming of your child. We give thanks for your child’s new life, and commit both you and the child to God, asking for his help and blessing. This is the sort of service that almost anyone who believes in God can stand up and take part in, even if they are not sure what else they believe.
2. What is baptism?
For parents who bring children to be baptised, the service is more involved. It requires parents to declare they are wholehearted followers of Jesus. This means having a personal relationship with God. This relationship is one based not on how good we are but one based on faith in Jesus Christ. The service also involves making promises before God. This is a serious thing to do and is something to be thought through seriously.
It is important to understand that baptism is the beginning of a spiritual journey within the family of the church and not a one off event. Because baptism is tied in with being part of the church family, we always have baptism’s in the main morning service so that everyone in the church family can welcome your child.
How do I know whether baptism or thanksgiving is right for me?
If you want to thank God for the gift of your child, but do not want to make serious promises before God then the thanksgiving service is the best option for you. Your child can still be baptised later on should you or the child want this.
If though you do have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus and are happy to declare this and make promises before God then the baptism service is for you. If you are unsure you can speak with the Vicar (Mark).
If you want to explore taking things further then the first step is to come to church. This will help you get to know the church family and for the church family to get to know you. St Martin’s meets on Sunday’s at 10.30am. We have a creche for under 3s & Sunday Club for older children.
We are very relaxed and informal so come as you are.
The second step is to begin to prepare for your service.
This will require participating in a short course explaining what Christians believe.
Once this has been done we can then fix a date for the thanksgiving or baptism service to take place
We hope this information has been helpful, Please don’t worry if you still have questions. The Church is not for perfect people but for ordinary people who are honest enough to recognise their need of God.
If you want to have a further discussion then please get in touch with our Vicar Mark. He would love to speak with you. You can contact him on email@example.com.
Whatever you decided please be assured of our prayers for you and your little ones.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”