The words Christening and Baptism are used by people to describe the service where a person makes their own public declaration of faith or where parents promise to raise their child or children in the knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith so that they grow to become followers of Christ themselves. For many, the terms Christening and Baptism are synonymous.  


Some parents consider Christening and decide, for them at this stage, a Service of Thanksgiving is more appropriate.



Baptism is a very important part of the Christian life. In having your child baptised, you make important declarations about your own decision to follow Jesus, and promises about your commitment to bring your child up as part of the church family. To help you understand what this involves, we invite you to take part in a preparation course, normally held in church on two Saturday afternoons. The course explores key aspects of the Christian faith. We would expect you to attend church services as part of your preparation for your child’s baptism. The baptism itself will be held in one of our Sunday morning services. (Please note that at least one parent needs to have been baptised in order for your child to be baptised.)

Service of Thanksgiving

Some parents find that they are not ready to make a full Christian commitment and would prefer to have a Service of Thanksgiving for the birth of their child. This is a lovely occasion celebrating a new life and a new member of your family. (It is always possible to have your child baptised at a later date, as well, if you decide to do so.) If you decide that this service is more for you, someone from St Mary’s will visit you at home to talk about the service with you. This service is also held during one of our Sunday morning services.