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Thankgiving and Baptism Services at St James

Jesus said, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)

Baptism is a response to God’s love – a desire and a commitment to respond to God’s call to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends, remembering that you are loved by God, are part of a wider community and have a place with God’s people.

Baptism can take place at any age!

We mark the journey of faith in Jesus with services of celebration of the birth of a child, Christening / baptism and confirmation.  All is explained here, so read on!

Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

The birth or adoption of a child is a cause for celebration! In this service we give thanks for the miracle of life and ask for God’s blessing on your child.

The service of thanksgiving is perfect for:

  • anyone who has read about the service of Christening/baptism and feels that it is not right for them, but still want to give thanks to God and have a prayer of blessing for their child.

  • or parents who see this service as a preliminary to baptism.

  • or parents who do not wish their children to be baptised immediately.

Baptism (also known as Christening) of an infant or young child

The Baptism of a child is a public commitment to bring your child up to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus, and share in regular worship at church. When an adult or older child is baptised, they declare that they believe in Jesus Christ. When a baby or young child is baptised, the parents and godparents make these promises on behalf of the child.  Later, when older, the child may wish to say these promises for themselves at a service of Confirmation.

Because of the nature of the declarations and promises made in the baptism service, parents, and where possible godparents, must attend a preparation evening, where everything is explained.  You will also be invited to attend church, if you are not already doing so.  We aim to make this process a welcoming and enjoyable experience for you!

The role of godparents is to speak on behalf of the infant being baptised during the baptism service and to support the parents in bringing the child up as a Christian within the family of the Church.

Services for Older Children and Adults

Sometimes, seeing someone else baptised, deciding to have your own child baptised or being asked to be a godparent can cause you to think about your own journey of faith. If you were not baptised as a young child, you may be deciding now as an adult or teenager to make this commitment. Whatever led you to this point, baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives.

For adults and young people, baptism usually takes place shortly before, or at the same time, as confirmation. Confirmation is the service when those who have previously been baptised affirm those promises and are specially prayed for by a Bishop.

Adults and older children will make the baptismal declarations for themselves and, at their confirmation, will often choose to give a short testimony of their journey of faith.  Therefore a longer, more detailed course of preparation is required.  We aim to make this relaxed and enjoyable as well as informative and faith deepening.

Want to Know More?

That’s great!  Please contact the Parish Office.

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Discover all you need to know about choosing, planning and going to a christening on this great Chruch of England website

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