If you live in either of our parishes, you are entitled to have your child baptised - or be baptised yourself - in St Peter's Thurston or Holy Innocents Gt Barton. If you do not live in one of our parishes, but would nevertheless like to have your child baptised here, you should first, as a courtesy, consult the vicar of the church in the parish where you live, to make sure that she or he does not object. If there is no objection, we are happy to do the baptism here.
What is baptism?
Baptism is sometimes called 'Christening', but they are exactly the same thing. Both are about the church receiving your child into its wider family. Neither service is about naming your child - you do that legally when you register the child's birth. Baptism is a Christian service where Christian promises are made by parents and godparents on behalf of the child, and we hope that, as the child grows up, he or she will wish to make those promises for him or herself at Confirmation. So that we can receive you and your children into our church community and support you in any way you need as your children grow up, we baptise children or adults as part of our regular Communion services on Sundays. It is also for that reason that Godparents must themselves have been baptised, so that they can make their promises in all honesty. So that you and we can both feel that this is a real commitment to bring your child up in the Christian faith, we would very much appreciate it if you would attend services in our churches in the months leading up to the baptism as well as afterwards. You will be made very welcome; we love having children in our churches, and if they make the occasional noise, so much the better!
What if I am not a regular church-goer?
If you are not a church-goer and the Godparents you have chosen are not Christian and haven't been baptised, Christian baptism may not be for you and your child. There is an alternative service, which is called 'A Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child'. It is still a service in church, and you can still have Sponsors for your child (instead of Godparents), but it does not require you or the Sponsors to make such a commitment about bringing up your child as a Christian. Instead, it is a service of thanks for the safe delivery of your child, and a service of blessing for your child until he or she is old enough to make his or her own commitment to the Christian faith.
What is the next step?
Once you have understood the differences between these services, please contact the Rector, Revd Manette Crossman or one of the contacts that can be viewed on the contact page of this website, to book a date for the service you require.
For more information on Christenings, please see the Church of England Christening page: CoEChristenings