To find out more about baptisms at St John’s, please contact Rev Barbara Wilson – 01772 435340
In the meantime, you might be interested in the Church of England Christening website, and the information below
Baptism (also known as ‘Christening’)
As a parent you will want the best for your child and as a church we would be delighted and privileged to help you think about what baptism might mean for you and your family.
For parents who bring children to be baptised, the service involves making promises before God (and the congregation) to be a whole-hearted disciple of Jesus Christ – and to show evidence of that commitment by being part of the church community. This is a tough commitment to make in the 21st century, and is something to be thought through seriously.
A baptism is also a celebration, often with lots of friends and relatives; but rather more is involved. You, and your Godparents, make very solemn promises before God which are effectively a public declaration of basic Christian belief involving:
(i)… deciding to turn away from everything in our lives which is opposed to God and his ways’. (what the Bible calls “repentance”).
(ii)… deciding to follow Jesus Christ and accept God’s forgiveness made possible by his death on the cross (this is what the Bible calls choosing to “believe”). This means altering your lifestyle to reflect God’s pattern of living.
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
Whether or not we decide to go ahead with a Baptism, we would like to offer you a simple Thanksgiving Service for your child.
This 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 in the years to come.
There is no sprinkling with water in this service. It 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. It’s a way in which parents can express their gratitude for the birth of the child, and receive God’s blessing on them and the child. The church members welcome your family and pray for you.
Both the Thanksgiving and Baptism services 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 nurture of your child. The main difference is in the extent and depth of Christian commitment that each form of service expresses.
Whilst those who bring their child for baptism would be expected to attend a baptism preparation course (see below), there is no such requirement for those bringing their child for a Thanksgiving Service.
We pray and trust that a baptised child will grow up to understand and appropriate for themselves the promises made in baptism. For this reason, it is important to understand that baptism is the beginning of a spiritual journey within the family of the church – not a one-off event which means that a child is “done”…
If you are not a regular church attender then we would want to help you to understand the faith into which you are baptising your child. So, we would expect you to attend a short 6-week course in Christian basics. This course will look at what Christians believe and help you understand how you can be a Christian yourself.
During this time we would also expect you to begin to come along to our 10.30am service. This will help you to get to know the people who will be praying for you and your child and who will welcome you as a part of our church family. Because baptism is integral to being part of the church family, we always have a baptism in our 10.30am morning service.