Everyone is welcome to have their children christened in their parish church. During the Christening service your baby will be baptized. There are around 10,000 babies and children baptized in the Church of England every month. We also welcome adults who want to be baptized. Your child is precious to you and precious to God. At Baptism you make a decision to start your child on a journey of faith. The church and the godparents support the family and the child in this decision.
Baptism for babies and children takes place in a service often called a Christening. In this service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and godparents promise help and support.
The church also promises to welcome the child and to pray for the family. For your child, being baptized at a Christening marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Some parents might want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During the Thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life.
It can take place in church with the congregation, or with just family and friends gathered, or elsewhere such as home, or even in hospital.
A Thanksgiving Service is not a Baptism. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith. The child will be blessed and prayed for, and supporting friends will promise to support the parents in bringing up their baby.
To find out more about a Thanksgiving Service contact your local vicar.