An alternative to a baptism service, is a service of thanksgiving. Until a generation ago, most children in Britain were baptised as infants, now increasingly people are opting for a thanksgiving service. In a baptism service the parents and God parents have to make public vows of Christian commitment. But some people are not ready for that, and do not feel comfortable making such a commitment. Other parents feel that the child should decide for themselves when they are older if they wish to be baptised, and therefore opt for a thanksgiving service instead.
In a thanksgiving service we celebrate the birth of a child, and pray for the child and their parent(s), and ask God to bless them. Unlike baptism, the parents aren’t expected to make any promises in a service of thanksgiving. A thanksgiving service is an opportunity to celebrate God’s gift of a child, and say thank-you publicly and joyfully.
It is perfectly possible to have a baptism service at a later date after having a service of thanskgiving.
So what's it all about?
The Thanksgiving Service offers this opportunity to publicly celebrate the birth of a child. This service allow parents and families to express their delight and gratitude to God for the new being they are welcoming into their homes, to pray for the child and to ask others to pray for them. This is not Baptism, which is the sacrament by which we are welcomed into membership of the church. It is quite simply a celebration of a new life within a family, a thank-you for a small person given by God to be loved, nurtured and enjoyed. The minister taking the service will bless the child and pray for the family, but the parents are not required to make any promises.
Thanksgiving or Baptism?
If you choose to have a Thanksgiving, you may also have a Baptism service for your child at a later date. In fact, for families who are new to the church, and are considering Baptism for their child, the Thanksgiving Service can also serve as an opportunity to introduce them and their child formally to the rest of the church, and to invite the congregation to pray for them as they consider Baptism.
When can the service be held?
The thanksgiving can take place in one of our morning services, although it can be arranged to do a service of thanksgiving at other times, subject to discuss with the clergy.
What does it cost?
How do I arrange it and how can I find out more information?
Speak to one of the clergy at one of the Sunday services, or contact Simon on 01922 611909.