Baptism (also called Christening)
and Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

Congratulations! If you are expecting a child or have recently given birth, we are so excited and pleased for you. Every new life is a gift from God. We would love to help you thank God for your child, and launch your child on a journey of faith that will last a lifetime.

There are two types of service we can offer.

Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

If you want to give thanks to God for the gift of new life, we’d love to help you. Twice a month, on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, we offer a service of thanksgiving for children. The service is built around your child, and it focuses on thanking God for this new life and entrusting them to his care. You can help us shape the service for you and your family (for example, by choosing songs or readings) and you’re welcome to invite as many guests as you like. A service of thanksgiving for a child doesn’t prevent a child being baptised at a later date (see below for information about baptisms).

You can see the words we use in the service of thanksgiving here.

We welcome anyone living in the parish of St John’s or with a connection to St John’s (check parish boundary here) to celebrate the gift of a new child with us. Contact us on thanksgivings@sjlh.org.uk.

Baptism (sometimes called Christening)

If you intend to bring up your child in the local church, you may want to explore baptism with us. In the baptism service, parents and godparents declare their dependence on Jesus as their saviour and Lord, and their commitment to putting Jesus at the centre of their lives. They promise to help the child to begin their own journey of faith and to grow up in the church family to become a follower of Jesus for themselves. We think it’s important that baptized children attend church regularly, so we like to spend time with baptism families, helping them to find their place in the St John’s church family. We love supporting parents and godparents as they raise their children, and helping children to come to know Jesus for themselves.

We invite everyone exploring baptism to be our guest on a short course exploring the basics of the Christian faith and what it means to bring a child up in it. Using material from the well-know Alpha course, we explore four key questions asked of the parents and godparents in the baptism service:

Will you support your child in their journey of faith?
Do you turn to Jesus Christ?
Do you turn away from sin?
Do you trust in Jesus Christ as Lord?

We provide food, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of time to discuss what faith means to you. You can find out more about Alpha here, or watch the stories of some people who have done the course here.

We run our baptism course four times a year:
– Over two Saturday mornings (Sample Saturday Timetable), including breakfast, in May/June or November; or
– Over four Wednesday evenings (Sample Wednesday Evening Timetable), including dinner, in January or September.

If you enjoy the baptism course you are very welcome to continue as our guest on a full Alpha course (8 sessions) exploring more of life’s big questions.

There is no charge for any of our courses.

Towards the end of the course you will be able to book a date for the baptism of your child, which will take place during one of our regular services on a Sunday morning.

If you regularly attend St John’s church or another Christian church (by which we mean that you attend a service at least twice a month), you may already be confident that baptism is right for you and your child. If that’s the case you can talk to our Vicar, Gavin, and agree with him the best way to prepare for the baptism.

To find out more, contact us on baptisms@sjlh.org.uk

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Learn more

Please click the links below for further information on:

Confirmation
Weddings
Funerals