Holy Nativity KnowleOpen to God, Open to One Another, Open to the Community
What is Baptism? Candidates for baptism can be of any age, but baptisms for babies and children are often known as 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 baptised at a Christening marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family. 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. 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'. Can anyone have a Baptism service at Holy Nativity? Yes, so long as they have not been baptised already. The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and families for Christenings - whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a baptism for your child. Making decisions and promises When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You will be asked to answer, on your child's behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ. The declarations made by you and the child's godparents will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child. How much does a baptism cost? The good news is that a baptism is free! When do you do baptisms at Holy Nativity? We usually baptise candidates during our main Sunday morning 10 am service (the Parish Mass). This is the best time for a baptism so that the wider Christian community can welcome your child into the family of the Church. Thanksgiving Services Some parents might want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During a 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 child.