Baptism of children and adults, Service of Thanksgiving for a Child, Confirmations in the Land’s End Benefice
Baptism is much more than a joyous occasion or simply naming the child - the church community comes together and the parents and godparents make important promises about bringing the baby up in the Christian faith. In the Land’s End Benefice we can help you explore the meaning behind these promises and make the most of your own, or your child's Baptism.
In the Land’s End Benefice we have baptisms, for adults as well as children, and thanksgivings, both in the services on a Sunday and sometimes at other times when people want something a bit quieter. When we meet with you to talk over the service we can explore what is best for you and your family. There are lots of things to find out about and it is best done at a meeting with one of the minsters in the benefice. One thing you can be sure of is that we look forward to meeting anyone interested in baptism, and making this first stage of the Christian journey as special as possible. Do just give us a call or email – details on the contacts page.
When you are ready to take on the adult responsibilities of faith after your baptism you are invited to prepare for your confirmation. In our team we have regular courses for confirmation which are planned around the needs of those attending. If you are interested learning more please give us a call or email
Do you want to know more?
The Church of England writes this on their website about baptisms and the questions that are often asked about the service.
“Everyone is welcome to have a their baby or child baptized at a Christening in their parish church and with around 10,000 babies and infants being Christened each month in the Church of England, it remains a popular decision for parents.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about getting your baby or child Christened.
1. What is the difference between a Baptism and a Christening?
There is no difference between a Christening service and a Baptism service. Some churches will use the word 'baptism' and some the word 'christening'. Babies are Baptized during a christening service just as couples are 'married' during a 'wedding' service.
2. Can anyone have a Christening service?
Yes, so long as they have not been Baptized already. The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and adults and whole families for Christenings - whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a Christening for your child. You do not have to be an active churchgoer - as parents, you do not even have to have been Christened yourselves. Everyone is welcome at their local church. Just ask your local vicar if this is something you are considering for your baby.
3. What about godparents?
Godparents are some of the most important people at the Christening.
Godparents are not the people who will care for your child should anything happen to you. Arrangements for this would normally be made by a Will. Rather, they should be people who will be there for your child and help them think about the bigger questions in life - questions of love, hope and faith.
Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.
Godparents must be baptized themselves and old enough to make some serious promises on behalf of the child.
4. How much does a Christening service cost?
The good news is that a Christening service is free. There may be costs for your family party afterwards, for gifts, or for christening robes, but the church service is free. [Occasionally parents need a certified copy of the entry in the register. In 2014 this will cost £12]
5. Where can we hold the Christening?
You can have your baby Christened at your local parish church and it is usually held as part of the main Sunday service. If you want to have the christening at a different church, for example, where you grew up or where you were married, you will need to talk to the vicar at that church.
6. Can we arrange a Christening at a separate time to the Sunday service?
There may be opportunities to have a service at a different time, again usually on a Sunday, but talk to the vicar and ask their advice about what is possible at your church.
7. How do I arrange a Christening?
Simply contact the vicar of the church where you want to have the Christening and ask for advice.
8. How old should my child be?
You can have your baby or child Christened at any age. There is no upper age limit, but after about the age of seven your child may be able to make the promises for themselves. Talk to your vicar about baptizing an older child and how this might differ from a baby's Christening service.
9. What happens in the service?
At your baby's Christening, water will be blessed and poured on the baby's head - this is the baptism of your baby (the word 'baptism' means 'to be immersed in water'). The baby will be signed with the cross and a special oil may be used for this. A candle or other gift from the church may be given. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the baby, and prayers will be offered for the baby and the family. There may also be readings and hymns, which you may be able to choose - ask your vicar if you have any special requests.
10. What exactly is Baptism?
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. This first step is a response to God's love. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God's people.”
“A Thanksgiving Service
A Thanksgiving Service is a way of saying "Thank You" to God for the precious gift you have received. Some people feel that it would not be appropriate to make promises at a Baptism Service which they do not feel comfortable with and chose a Thanksgiving Service instead.
The Church firmly believes that God loves you and your child just as much as a child who has been baptised but a Thanksgiving Service does not require you to make any statements of faith or promises about the way you intend to raise your child.
What about Godparents...?
Godparents are important people who have special tasks! They promise to help their godchild come to know God, encourage him or her in their membership of the local church and take an interest in their spiritual life. They do this by making the same promises as the child's parents on behalf of the child being baptised.
They commit themselves to pray for the child and help the parents bring up the child in the Christian faith. Children usually have two or more godparents, sometimes two of whom which are the same sex as the child.
They can be family members or friends (and parents can also be godparents). But to carry out this role, the Church of England requires that all godparents have been baptised and preferably confirmed as well.
What about an older child...?
Sometimes people bring their babies for baptism when they are less than a year old - but sometimes other things get in the way and the child may be a lot older. The age of the child does not matter, but when they reach a certain age, we suggest that the child is old enough to take on the questions for themselves and so we suggest they consider joining a Baptism and Confirmation Course at the local Church.
Our prayer is that God will bless you as a parent and equip you to raise your children in ways that will enable you, as a family, to find out more about him and grow to love and worship him in your lives - please come along and find out more !”