Baptism or thanksgiving services are the start of an amazing journey of faith for all who come to Baptism – no matter what age – and is also a special day for all your friends and family.
A declaration of faith
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. As water is poured over us, we are marked with the Sign of the Cross and given a lighted candle – all representing the new life offered to us by Jesus and our membership of the church family.
It is a wonderful occasion for candidates, where age is not a barrier as they rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, as they make serious promises and declare their faith. They also thank God for his gift of life as they make a decision to start on the journey of faith as well as ask for the church’s support.
All young people and adults who can speak for themselves are invited to make serious promises about their faith in Jesus Christ before the congregation and God.
Promises made for our children
It is however different with infants who cannot speak for themselves. When we baptise infants, parents and godparents make promises on their behalf. One of the promises is that they will draw the infant being baptised into the community of faith by their example and walk with them in the way of Christ.
They then have to promise to help the infant take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church. They also need to declare that they have themselves turned to Christ. We believe that the efficacy of infant baptism is realised when parents sincerely commit to these promises.
We however also recognise that not all parents are able to make these promises. Some have therefore found a Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child service more helpful. This service, which can serve as a preliminary to baptism, allows the family to express their thanks to God for the gift of a child.
You can find out more about getting baptised or baptising your child in church from the Church of England Christenings website.
Arranging a baptism in Stretton Parish
We invite you to contact the Parish Office to discuss possible dates for the baptism or come to one of our services on a Sunday and introduce yourself to the Rector or any member of the team.
Once we’ve agreed a date for the baptism, the member of clergy taking the baptism service will visit you to talk through the service and discuss any questions you may have. This will also be an opportunity to talk through the promises you will make.
We welcome all who live in our parish to approach us to explore either baptism or thanksgiving for their children.