If you’d like to know more about having your child baptised (christened), we are very pleased to be able to help and explain here what we can offer you in the Binsey Mission Community as part of the Church of England.
A child is a wonderful gift from God and it’s right that we want to celebrate such a fantastic present. The Church of England offers two services to help you celebrate the life of your child – Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child and Baptism. Both involve recognising that God has created a new life but the difference between the two is in the extent and depth of Christian commitment.
We see our role as being to explain what each service means and to help you decide, with integrity, which service is the most appropriate for you and your child.
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
This is a service which may be included within the main act of worship on a Sunday, or may be a service all by itself. It is offered to:
- Parents who see this as a preliminary to Baptism;
- Parents who do not want their child to be baptised immediately;
- Parents who do not want their child baptised but who recognise that something has happened that they want to thank God for;
- Parents who are unsure that they can make the promises required of them within the Baptism service.
The child is named during the service and receives a blessing alongside the thanksgiving.
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. Baptism is for the children of parents who want to publicly state their desire to bring up their child as a Christian. It therefore involves promises of commitment to Jesus and the Church. As well as the words of commitment, the child’s name is used, water is poured over the child and prayers are said.
As it is impossible for small children to live their lives in a Christian way without the help and support of their parents, the decision to have a child baptised should signify that the family is prepared to live out the promises made in Baptism in a committed and whole-hearted way.
To enable parents to do this we ask that you to come and join us in worship, at any of our churches, at some time in the months BEFORE the date of baptism. We ask you to consider seriously the choice that you have. Baptism is for the children of parents who want to be practising Christians. In other words, it is for people who follow Jesus, accept his teaching and want to be regular, committed members of Christ’s Church.
The first part of our Baptism preparation is one of the Clergy Team to visit you in your own home and discuss the service, and arrange a possible date.
Then, once the Baptism service has been arranged, a second preparation session will take place either in your own home or at the vicarage. At the second session, if possible, the godparents will be invited to attend as well.
Home Visit Getting to know you
Session 2 Preparing for the Baptism service – including thinking about the Christian promises and commitments, which you will make on behalf of your child.
ALL BAPTISMS take place within the main Sunday Service.
What Do I Do Next?
We recommend that you take some time to think about the information here and then contact the Team Rector, Revd Stephen Banks (016973 71541). You will find contact details here (Team page) or use the contact form here (Contacts).