We are glad that you are thinking about having your baby or child christened or baptised (the words mean the same thing) and we are very pleased to welcome you and your child here at St John’s.
A christening (or baptism) service gives you the opportunity to celebrate and thank God for his gift of new life in the company of your family and friends. Many families mark the occasion by putting on a big family party afterwards. A christening though is also very much about putting your child at the start of the Christian journey of faith. During the service you make promises to bring up your child within the church in such a way that they are helped to learn how to live as a Christian.
You will have chosen godparents and they will be at the service with you to promise their help and support. If you have a girl there should be two godmothers and one godfather. If your child is a boy there should be two godfathers and one godmother.
Here at St Johns we promise to welcome your child and to pray for you and your family.
We will arrange to see you before the christening in order to get to know you a little and for you to get to know us too. We will go through the service so that you know what to expect. We can provide you with further information about the Christian faith if you would like (there is further information about Christianity on this website) and we run short courses from time to time to introduce you to the basics. Just let us know if you are interested.
We offer christenings either during our main 10.30 service or at a separate service at 12.30 as we know that this can be a more convenient time for families. If you choose this time, since a christening is about welcoming your child into the church, several members of our church family here at St John’s will be present in order to represent the church and to welcome you, your child and your family.
There is no charge for a christening service but we will put a collection plate out at the back of church for any donations which people might like to give and which will go towards the upkeep of our beautiful grade 2* building.
If you don’t feel that the promises of a christening (or baptism) service are the right thing for you, but would still like to formally offer thanks to God for the life of your baby or child in the presence of your friends and family (and perhaps with a big family party afterwards) we can offer you some special prayers of thanksgiving as part of one of our 10.30 services. Jesus took little children in his arms and blessed them, so we will set aside some time in the service to make a fuss of you and your child and to name him or her before God. In the prayers we will praise and thank God for the birth of your child, and ask him to surround your child with his blessing. We will give you a thanksgiving certificate and a book of Bible stories for your child.
Since prayers of thanksgiving happen within one of our normal 10.30 services we ask that you bring with you only close family and friends and that they come prepared to be part of our usual worship which includes hymns, prayers, readings from the Bible and a sermon. There are no godparents, but you might like to ask some of the friends who come with you to be ‘supporting friends’ who will stand with you as we pray for your child.
As time goes on you might want to have your child christened.
If you want to book a christening or to discuss further please contact the Vicar (Rev’d Vivien Gisby) on 01928 573798