baptism | christenings
christening your child
If you live in St Thomas’ parish, (enter your postcode here to check), you can have your child baptised (“christened”) at St Thomas’ Church. People with an active involvement in our church community are also able to have their children baptised at St Thomas’, regardless of where they live. If you don’t live in our parish and are not involved with our church, you will be able to have a christening at your local parish church. If you’re not sure where that is, you can find out by entering your postcode here.
If you’re not sure what christening is about, or what to expect, there is lots of information for parents, godparents and guests here.
Read the information below to find out more about what happens at St Thomas’ Church, or contact us, or come along on a Sunday morning to find out more.
If you are an adult or older young person who wants to be baptised yourself, please read the adult baptism section below.
how does christening work at st thomas’?
As a first step, we would suggest you come to a 10.30am Sunday morning service to meet the vicar and talk about your christening. You and your child will find a warm welcome and also get to meet some of the church family and see where your christening would take place. We can give you a booking form which you can fill in to get things started. (Please note, due to demand, there is sometimes a wait for the baptism service, and you may not be able to pick a specific date).
We will invite you to some baptism preparation sessions which may take place in the church or may involve one of our baptism visitors meeting you in your home. These sessions are nothing to worry about, but explain what Christian baptism (“christening”) means, what will happen in your baptism ceremony, and practical details for you special day.
For a baby, we will book a ‘thanksgiving service’ with you, which is an opportunity for the immediate family and maybe godparents to come to a Sunday morning service before the baptism to thank God for the birth of your child and ask God’s blessing on them. It’s another opportunity for you to get to know us too.
Your baptism service, which we will book at the preparation meetings, can take place EITHER during one of our main Sunday morning 10.30am worship services, which will last about an hour and include hymns or songs, a sermon and some prayers as well as the baptism. OR you can opt for a separate baptism ceremony at 12.15pm following the morning service which will be a much shorter ceremony without, for example, hymns.
If you opt for a separate baptism ceremony, we will invite you to bring your child to one of our regular services in the following weeks so that the church family can welcome them formally into the Christian community.
We will keep you informed of other activities which may suit you and your family, including special services and our ‘first steps’ stay and play groups, and opportunities for you to find out more about the Christian faith into which you have had your child baptised.
There is no charge for a baptism, (although it is up to you whether you make a donation towards the work of the church).
The reason we have baptism (or “christening”) is because Jesus Christ commanded us to baptise people as a symbol of them becoming followers of Christ, or “Christians”. When we baptise children, we do so in faith that they will choose to follow Jesus when they are old enough to understand and choose for themselves. Parents and Godparents make promises on their behalf.
When adults, (or those old enough to answer for themselves), are baptised, they make their own promises about following Jesus. They should already have decided that, in some sense, they want to follow Jesus. Those who are older are therefore expected to be living out their Christian faith as part of the Christian community, (the Church).
Baptism preparation for adults will consist of a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The baptism ceremony will take place at one of our main Sunday morning services so that your church family can support you in this important step on your journey of faith.