Baptism and Thanksgiving

Baptism and Thanksgiving

The arrival of a new child into a family is a cause for joy and celebration.

It is a time for sharing happiness with family and friends and, for some, a time to say “thank you” to God for the gift of a new life.

It is also a time of increased responsibility and care: of concern for the child’s future security, health and happiness; and of an awareness of the vital role that parents play as they bring up their child. Many parents want to express these feelings of love, joy, thanksgiving and care for the child in some formal way before God, in the company of their family and friends, before having a celebration party.

For this reason many people ask the church if they can have their child christened or baptised (both are the same thing). However, many people today are not deeply committed to the church or do not fully understand the Christian Faith. So we do not feel that it is right to ask everyone to make the kind of promises and commitment that the Baptism Service requires.

So that families can celebrate their child without having to say things which they are not sure they believe or commit themselves to things that they may find it difficult to do, we offer a Service of Thanksgiving as well as a Service of Baptism.

The Thanksgiving Service offers:

  • A time to say thank you to God for the gift of your child
  • A joyful occasion to celebrate with family and friends
  • An occasion when before God your child is named formally
  • A time to be aware that God wants to bless your child now and in the future
  • An opportunity to pray for your child, and for your responsibilities as parents.

The heart of this service reflects an incident in the life of Jesus when, as it is recorded in the Bible, Jesus took some children in his arms and blessed then saying “You must let the children come to me, do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”  Mark 10:13-16

Having shared in a Thanksgiving Service, if you would like to go further and commit yourselves and your child to faith in Jesus Christ, and to Church Membership through a Service of Baptism, or a Service of Dedication, we will be pleased to help you do so.

Whether you make use of the Thanksgiving Service or go on to the full commitment of Baptism or Dedication (or neither!) you are most welcome to be part of the life of Church of Our Saviour. For those going on to Baptism or Dedication we invite, and would expect, you to come regularly to our Sunday Worship as well as take part in other activities which are appropriate.

Church of Our Saviour seeks to be a family friendly church where we recognise the needs of children and adults alike and love to worship Jesus together. At many of our services we have special activities for children from the age of 3-10yrs in our Childrens Groups. Younger children stay in church with parents and we can offer a crèche/buggy area quite easily.

On Thursday and Friday mornings in term time we have a pre-school group called Wiggles which runs in church. Many families have found this to be a really good way of getting to know other people and learning more about God and the church.

Some Questions answered

Don't you have to be baptised in order to have church wedding or funeral?

In times past this was true, but not today. You no longer have to be baptised in order to have these church services.

Don't you have to be baptised to get into heaven?

God does not judge people in different ways just because one has had a Service of Baptism and another has not. God loves everyone equally and asks us to respond to his love all the time. He doesn`t love a person who is baptised more than a person who isn't.

Doesn't baptism help to make sure a child stays healthy?

The church doesn't believe this is true. Baptised children fall ill, misbehave and have problems just like anyone else!

Doesn't a child have to be baptised in order to grow up as a Christian?

Being a Christian means knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and as the Son of God. The Service of Baptism cannot guarantee that this will be true for any child. Children are far more likely to grow into faith through the love, teaching and example of those around them, particularly their parents.

What do we do now?

If you would like to arrange a Thanksgiving Service or want to know more about Baptism or Dedication, then please contact our Anglican Minister, Revd Andy Greaves-Brown and join us at our Sunday morning service.