Baptism or Thanksgiving Service

  • There is sometimes confusion between the idea of Christening and Baptism. During Baptism, a child or an adult is given a Christian name, which is why, in the past, parents usually named their children after famous Christian Saints like George and Mary. The Bible teaches us that 'God has called us by name' and so when we choose a child’s Christian name remember that it is the name by which they are known to God. Official forms use the term ‘first name’ rather than ‘Christian name’ to avoid offending our neighbours who belong to other faiths.                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Baptism is much more than a naming ceremony. A person can be baptised at any stage in their life. Baptism is not just for babies, it is for the whole of life. An older child, teenager or adult asks to be baptised as a sign that they want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.                                                                             
  • Baptism is not the only service that All Saints offers to parents of young children. We also offer a Thanksgiving service. At this service we give thanks to God for the life of your child and pray for them and for you as their family. We don’t ask you to make any promises but the door is always open if you decide to ask for Baptism in the future. For some families it is a first step on the road to Baptism for their child. It is a simple way of saying that we want God to be involved in the life of our child.

        What is Baptism?
  • In Baptism, we thank God for his gift of life, and begin a journey of faith, following the Lord Jesus Christ. At All Saints church, Baptism always takes place during the main Sunday service at 10.30am unless there are very good reasons why this is not appropriate. This is because the newly baptised really need the Church's support on that journey of faith. It is not something we can do on our own.                   
  • Some Christians believe that Baptism can only be offered to those who understand the Christian faith and are able to make promises to follow Jesus Christ for themselves. At All Saints, babies and young children are baptised provided that parents and godparents are willing to make promises on their behalf. 
  • For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, following Christ and becoming a member of the Church. The Church is not a building. It is the local and worldwide Christian family.
  • Baptism is a 'sacrament.' It is a visible sign of God's love. In baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are recognising that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God, whether we are newly born or getting on in life.           
  • If you bring your child for Baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You make exactly the same promises that an adult makes when they are baptised into the Christian faith.
  • The promises made at Baptism are about deciding to turn away from everything which is evil or wrong and to turn instead towards Christ. The promises made by you and the child's godparents are made in front of the church congregation. The Christian community at All Saints also promises to support you and to pray for you and for your child.
  • Baptism is offered to families who live in the Parish of All Saints, or who regularly worship with us or who have strong family ties with our Church. If you want to find out more about Baptism then please ring the churchwardens in order to arrange a meeting. Even better, come along to All Saints next Sunday at 10.30am, find out what we are like, and talk to us over coffee afterwards. 
  • Baptism is a free gift from God and so there are no fees involved. In the end, you decide whether you want your child to be baptised just as you would decide whether, as an adult, you wished to be baptised yourself. The job of the Parish Priest is not to make judgements but to help you make an informed decision that is right for you and your child.
  • You can find out more about Baptism on the Church of England website, this gives full details of what happens at the service and what promises are made. If you are not sure which parish you live in then just go to and enter your postcode. 
  • We look forward to hearing from you.

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