BAPTISMS (CHRISTENINGS) and THANKSGIVINGS
When a child is born or adopted into a new family this is a very special time and we would love to celebrate with you! There are two services available - baptisms and thanksgivings.
baptisms are the way in which we become Christians and we die to sin and rise to new life in Jesus Christ. When a child is baptised Godparents bring them to be baptised and make promises that they will teach them the Christian faith and bring them to Church to learn to worship God both publicly and privately.
thanksgivings are less formal and are a chance for a family to gather with friends and celebrate new life. In many Churches you would be expected to have a thanksgiving service before a baptism. This is not currently the tradition at S. Saviour's but it is something we are thinking and praying about
Here are some of the key pieces of information to consider when thinking about entering the Christian life.
Do you mean it?
This is the first and most important question to ask, are you prepared to keep the promises you make either for yourself or on behalf of your Godchildren (or children)? Baptism is the way we become Christians, it is a solemn, binding, and life-long commitment, just like marriage only more important!
If you are not sure what you believe or whether you want to commit to bring a child to Church and raising them in the Christian faith that is no problem, speak to one of the clergy and they will be happy to offer advice or guidance. Even better, come along to church for the Family Service (last Sunday in the month) or Children's Church (alternate Sundays) and see what you think.
It may be the case that a thanksgiving service is more appropriate to your desires - these are celebrations of the gift of life and do not in any way commit the child to following the Christian faith.
Where do you live?
If you live in the Parish of Smallthorne (the shaded area on the map) that's great just come along to Children's Church and have a chat. If you don't live in the parish you should firstly go to your own parish church for a baptism or thanksgiving. If you have a particular connection to S. Saviour's we can explore with your home parish the possibility of a baptism here. If you aren't sure of which parish is yours put your post-code into this website and it will tell you
Before you ask people to be Godparents it is always a good idea to speak to one of the clergy. Not everyone is able to be a Godparent but we can help you with that.
What does it cost?
Baptism services are free of charge although a donation towards the cost of lighting and heating church is always appreciated. An optional certificate of baptism is available, it costs £14 at the time of the baptism. For a duplicate later the fee remains £14 but there is also a search fee of £29. This is a statutory fee laid down by Parliament, rather like for a copy of any public record such as an additional marriage certificate, or a copy of an historical record for family history research.
Booking a date
When you first ask about a baptism or thanksgiving try not to do so with a date in mind or if you do have a date get in touch a good six months or so ahead. Thanksgivings can take place at any point but baptisms only take place after a period of preparation which may vary from family to family. At any point the Parish Priest is allowed postpone or delay a baptism if he considers further preparation to be necessary (this includes stopping during a service).
Baptisms are generally conducted outside of the main service at 1230 on alternate Sundays apart from the last Sunday of a month when they are part of the main Family Service at 1100. Baptisms are not private occasions and during busier times of year there will often be two families having children baptised in the same service. We cannot guarantee that you will be the only family at a service.