WELCOMING YOUNG CHILDREN, including Thanksgiving for the birth of the child and Baptism (often called Christening)
The church is always delighted to welcome children and considers it has an important role working with parents as they teach their children about Jesus and the Christian faith. There are services and activities specifically designed with children in mind.
Thanksgiving for the birth of a child
The birth of a baby is an exciting and wonderful experience for any parent. You will also be conscious of the huge responsibilities of helping them to develop in mind, body and spirit. One of the first things we can offer is a short Thanksgiving for your baby's birth which could be held in your own home or as part of the Family Service or at the Mothers and Toddlers service. If you wish to do this in the early months before you are ready to plan a Baptism, or would like to discuss the options, please contact one of the ministerial team listed later on this page. Alternatively, you might like to say this prayer together as you hold your child:
we thank you for the gift of this child,
for the wonder of new life
and for the joy and the mystery of human love.
We thank you for all whose support and skill surround the beginning of life.
We thank you that we are known to you by name
and loved by you for all eternity.
We thank you for Jesus Christ,
Who has opened to us the way of love.
We praise you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
God our Creator,
We thank you for the gift of this child
entrusted to our care, and for the privilege of being parents.
May we be patient and understanding
ready to guide and forgive,
so that through our love
they may come to know your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Baptism (also known as Christening)
We welcome families bringing their children for baptism, and would be pleased to discuss any questions you might have so that we can help you make the arrangements that you want. We would wish to discuss the following options with you:
Baptisms normally take place during the All Age Service on a Sunday morning where the congregation is there to welcome the newest member joining God's family.
We often have more that one family having a baptism during these services, if needed, so please keep guest numbers to about 50 people.
To have a baptism in one of our churches you must be resident in the parish or have connections to the church. A connection would be if you were married recently in the church or maybe your parents live in the village and you attended the church whilst growing up. If you do not live in the parish but have connections with the church you first need to speak to your local parish vicar or priest and, out of courtesy, ask their permission to have your baptism out of parish.
If you have any special requirements, please speak to the vicar involved.
How do I arrange a Baptism?
The first step is to telephone the priest listed below to discuss what your plans are and to agree in principle which service is required.
Rev Catherine Wilson
What happens next?
Following the discussion with the priest, you will be asked to contact the Benefice Administrator (see below) to find a mutually convenient date. You will then be sent a booklet explaining the details that need to be arranged with the church and a book explaining in more detail what the service of baptism involves.
If this is your first baby to be baptised, a baptism visitor will be in contact with you to visit you at home. They will want to take details for the baptism register, will have booklets to send to each of the Godparents that you have chosen, and will give you an opportunity to discuss the baptism in more detail. They will also take you through what happens during the service so that you are familiar with it and explain the meaning and symbolism behind what happens. We can also explore the part that any older children in the family can play in the service, e.g. receiving the candle which is given to your child at baptism, or doing a reading during the service. This is a very informal visit where you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have.
Tel: 01234 825454, Mon to Thur am
We are always delighted to welcome any families for baptism and do not charge anything.
You may wish to make contact at our mothers and toddlers service Messy Church at 11:30 – 13:30 at St Owen's Church, Bromham on Mondays and 10.00- 11.45 at St Mary’s in Oakley on Thursdays (during term time) for a warm welcome, a drink and a biscuit, some craft, an act of worship and lunch.
For general information and background on Baptism in the Church of England, please click on this link which will open in a new window.