Baptism is also known as 'christening'. The CofE carries out more than 10,000 christenings per month each year for babies and infants. Everyone is welcome to have a christening in their parish church.
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Baptism is much more than a joyous occasion or simply naming the child - the church community comes together and the parents and godparents make important promises about bringing the baby up in the Christian faith. Your local church can help you explore the meaning behind these promises and make the most of your child's Baptism.
A Thanksgiving Service
A Thanksgiving Service is a way of saying "Thank You" to God for the precious gift you have received. Some people feel that it would not be appropriate to make promises at a Baptism Service which they do not feel comfortable with and chose a Thanksgiving Service instead.
The Church firmly believes that God loves you and your child just as much as a child who has been baptised but a Thanksgiving Service does not require you to make any statements of faith or promises about the way you intend to raise your child.
Click here for sample Thanksgiving Services.
What about Godparents...?
Godparents are important people who have special tasks! They promise to help their godchild come to know God, encourage him or her in their membership of the local church and take an interest in their spiritual life. They do this by making the same promises as the child's parents on behalf of the child being baptised.
They commit themselves to pray for the child and help the parents bring up the child in the Christian faith. Children usually have two or more godparents, sometimes two of whom which are the same sex as the child.
They can be family members or friends (and parents can also be godparents). But to carry out this role, the Church of England requires that all godparents have been baptised and preferably confirmed as well.
Click here to listen to Godparents talking about their role.
What about an older child...?
Sometimes people bring their babies for baptism when they are less than a year old - but sometimes other things get in the way and the child may be a lot older. The age of the child does not matter, but when they reach a certain age, we suggest that the child is old enough to take on the questions for themselves and so we suggest they consider joining a Baptism and Confirmation Course at the local Church.
Our prayer is that God will bless you as a parent and equip you to raise your children in ways that will enable you, as a family, to find out more about him and grow to love and worship him in your lives - please come along and find out more !