Baptisms & Thanksgiving Services


Welcoming someone into God’s family is a joyous occasion. A Baptism, or a Christening as it is sometimes called, is a very special service where you are welcomed into the family of the church, either as a young child or as an adult. It is a time when we can make promises about our beliefs and the Christian life that we intend to follow, and a chance to celebrate as one of God’s people joins the church family.

Baptism is often the first step on our walk with God which continues for the rest of our lives – God loves us all and wants us to be part of the family of the church. For all those at the Baptism, particularly the person being baptised, but also the parents and godparents, it is a joyful moment when we make serious promises and declare our faith. 

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

Psalm 139, Verse 14

Baptisms can be held as a separate service for family and friends, but there is also the option to hold baptisms within the context of our traditional Sunday morning service, or to have a Messy Baptism as part of our monthly Messy Church worship. The latter options give our congregation the chance to celebrate with you, as another person joins the Christian family. It is a joyful occasion for the whole church as we welcome the newly baptised and promise our support and prayers for the future. Taking part in a baptism provides an opportunity to remember your own baptism and think about your own faith.

Within the service there are lots of signs that remind us of Jesus. There is the sign of the cross made on the head of the person being baptised which reminds us of how Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins. Our baptism is with water through which we believe we are forgiven our sins and are raised to new life, a reminder that Jesus rose again. The person baptised will also be given a lighted candle, to show us that the light of Christ conquers the darkness of evil. All those who are baptised walk in his light for the rest of their lives. 


A Thanksgiving is a special service which provides an opportunity for parents and families to give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and to pray for family life. It may be a private celebration at home or in hospital, or it may be a public celebration in church, sometimes with a number of children. 

Which service is best for me?

The Thanksgiving service, as its name implies, is a special service that gives you an opportunity to express thanks to God for the gift of your child, to ask for his blessing and to pray for his help as parents. You can ask people to act as sponsors. This is a similar role to that of godparent. Thanksgiving is different from a baptism in that no water is used, and the parents do not have to commit themselves explicitly to Jesus Christ and to participating in the life and worship of the church. Thanksgiving could be a good option if you’re at all uncertain about making the baptism promises. It can always be followed by baptism at a later date when you have seen more of the church’s life and been able to give the baptism promises more thought. 

The service of Baptism is one in which the parents and the godparents stand up in church on a Sunday and make clear statements about their Christian faith. They must say that they ‘turn to Christ’, that they ‘repent of their sins’, and that they ‘renounce evil’. They must also say that they believe and trust in God the Father who made the world, in Jesus Christ who redeemed mankind, and in His Holy Spirit who helps the people of God. It is therefore a service in which parents declare that they have a strong commitment to follow Jesus and live each day by His teachings, praying often to Him and trusting Him for everything. They are promising to teach their children to do the same and to be an example in this to them. They are taking on a duty to bring their child to a church to Sunday School and to be part of anything else the church may offer children. 

Whichever service you are considering, the Church of England – Parent’s Guide To Christenings will provide you with some helpful information at the outset. Please contact the Vicar, Andy Schuman for more information about baptisms and thanksgivings at St. Christopher’s.