Christenings for children
If you would like to consider having your child baptized at St. James’, we invite you to come along to one of our All Age Worship services, after which the Vicar will arrange to visit you at home to talk about baptism, if that feels right as the next step for you. Our All Age Worship services take place at 11am on the third Sunday in the month. They are welcoming and inclusive and last for about 45 minutes – please see our list of services for details of our next All Age Worship service. Christening usually takes place at St. James’ on the fourth Sunday of the month at 2.30pm, on alternative months. We baptise up to two families in that service. We are part of a group of churches who share one Vicar, so we plan our Christenings accordingly. Sometimes we can offer Christening within a Sunday morning service. You will be able to discuss the options with the Vicar during her visit to you.
Exploring more about what Christening means
Your child is precious to you and precious to God. You want the very best for them, and so does God. You want them to make right choices in life, for themselves and for others.
A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more.
Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by:
- Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
- Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey.
- Showing them practically how to make those good choices in life.
- Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways.
So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.
Godparents are among the most important people at a Christening, as they make big promises to encourage their Godchild to grow in faith and commit to helping them understand how to live their life in a Christian way.
This information may help you to make the right choice of Godparents for your child. Alongside the parents, Godparents will:
- Give their time to their Godchild to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
- Model and encourage them to develop Christian values – being kind and compassionate towards others, being generous towards others in need with time or money and standing against things in the world that cause injustice and suffering.
- Pray for their Godchild through the ups and downs of their life and their faith journey.
- Show them practically how to make good choices in life, for themselves and for others. This might mean talking to their Godchild about how to stay healthy, how to resist temptations that can harm us and other people, how to care for God’s amazing world and how to handle peer pressure as they grow older.
- Help their Godchild to learn more about the Christian faith, through their church and in other ways. Going to church with them, talking about what the Bible shows us and helping them learn how to pray are all brilliant ways to support their godchild.
It’s a demanding role, but help is always at hand, through church, online, and of course from God, who will bless all they do to help your godchild.
Preparing for the big day
Getting ready for your child’s Christening is exciting. But there’s also a lot to think about and do. Whether you have done this before or not, read on for some helpful ideas and tips.
It can seem that there is a lot to organise for a Christening. But remember that the important thing is that you and your family are there on the day to see your child baptized at their Christening.
- Have a look at what will happen in the service and the words that you will be saying. Your Vicar will go through this with you.
- You will have been along to church before the day so you can meet some of the people. Some of them might be thinking about having a christening too, or have already had their child christened. It’s a good way of connecting with other parents and families too.
- Enjoy the party – a key part of the day is being with family and friends.
- Think about what you and your child are going to wear. Many parents like their child to have a traditional christening gown, but it’s not compulsory and there may be a special outfit that they’d be more comfortable in – that’s fine. Like any celebration event, many families like to dress up for the occasion too. There are no hard and fast rules – choose what you’ll be happy and comfortable wearing on the day.
- Get in touch with your Godparents and tell them what will be happening. They might like to know about this and the Church of England’s website.
- Don’t forget photos – your child will be able to look back on them when they’re older and talk to you about what their Christening means.
- Why not take a few moments to think and pray about your child and your family. Ask God to be close to all of you as you start this amazing journey of faith. You might like to pop into church to say a prayer.
We have a lovely Church Hall available for hire, which you may wish to consider for your party after the Christening. Please contact John Dawson on 01423 770409 if you are interested.
If you are mature enough to make your own decisions and you’ve decided you’d like to be baptized, you’ll have a baptism service that is designed for adults.
You may have been going to church for a while and want to make a more definite commitment in terms of your Christian faith. For adults and young people, baptism usually takes place shortly before, or at the same time, as confirmation. Confirmation is the service when those who have previously been baptized affirm those promises and are specially prayed for by a Bishop.
Being baptized as an older person, or adult, is a wonderful celebration of the Christian commitment you will have carefully considered. Preparation for baptism will need to be prayerfully and carefully planned with your Vicar, and we would be delighted to discuss this with you. Please contact Rev Chrissy Wilson, our Vicar.