Baptism and Thanksgiving
We are delighted that you would like to come to church to mark the birth of your child. We offer two different services at St James’ – Thanksgiving and Baptism. Hopefully one of these will be right for you. There is no charge for either service.
The service of thanksgiving provides an important opportunity for you to say ‘thank you’ to God for your son or daughter.
During the service, we will ask you to ‘name’ your child and we will pray for God’s blessing to be on them. We will also give you a certificate and a children’s Bible or book to mark the occasion.
We usually hold the service as part of our main morning service at St James’ (usually the 3rd Sunday of the month) when the whole church family has an opportunity to welcome you and your child.
If you decide to have a thanksgiving service, you will still have the option to hold a baptism service for your child at a later date if you wish, once you have had the opportunity to consider all that baptism entails.
Baptism is also known as ‘Christening’ (both words mean the same thing).
At baptism you promise to raise your child in the Christian faith and to help them follow Jesus as a member of a local church. Baptism therefore marks one of the most important stages in a person’s life – child or adult – and so we want to be able to help you prepare for it.
When do baptisms take place?
At St James’ baptisms take place during our main morning service at 10.30am on the 3rd Sunday of each month.
One of the reasons we hold baptisms in our main service is because baptism is a sign that your child has become a member of God’s worldwide family and part of our local church. During the service, the congregation will therefore welcome you and your child into the family of the church at St James’. The congregation will also be asked to make promises to help your child to be brought up in the Christian faith at St James’.
What do I have to say?
During the service, you and your child’s godparents will be asked some questions in which you will all declare your Christian faith before God and in front of the congregation and promise to help to bring up your child to follow Jesus. It is therefore important that you think seriously about whether you feel ready to make these promises. When we visit you, we will show you the questions, explain what they mean and be happy to answer any questions you might have.
How do I choose Godparents?
We suggest that you choose three godparents. Two should be the same sex as your child and one of the other sex.
Think carefully about your choice of godparents, as their role is an important and responsible one. Choose people you trust to take an interest in your child’s spiritual welfare and to pray for them. They, like you, will be asked to make public declarations of their Christian faith in the service and so it is important that they feel able to do so. As a result, it is important to choose godparents who are Christians.
All godparents, and ideally both parents, should themselves already be baptised.
For more information please get in contact