We are glad to be able to offer services at St Mary's for parents who are celebrating the arrival of a baby into their family! The service of Baptism is when the baby is sprinkled with water at the font. Parents make statements about their faith in Jesus Christ, and make promises about giving their child a Christian upbringing at home and in church. The baptism - or christening as it is sometimes called - marks the beginning of the Christian journey for a baby, and they are welcomed into the Christian faith, which we hope they will come to experience for themselves as they grow up. When parents are not sure what their belief and commitment may be, the Alpha course which we run is a helpful introduction to living and active faith. We feel that it is very important that parents realize what they will be saying in the service, and have thought through what it means and how they are going to help their child along the Christian path. Godparents support them in a similar commitment.
Something else we offer is the service of Thanksgiving. The birth of a baby is an exciting time. Many of us are conscious at times like this that there is something more to life than just our physical existence. The awesome gift of life points us to a Creator who is behind it all! To give thanks to God at this time for the amazing gift of a baby seems the most natural thing in the world to do. The Thanksgiving service meets this need and desire, and it also comes with no strings attached! In this service there are no statements of faith or promises about Christian upbringing, but still a genuine expression of thanks to God. This one does not include sprinkling with water, but just as there are godparents with baptism so there is the similar idea of supporting friends who stand alongside parents.
We are happy to discuss and explain more about what is involved in the services, and we usually visit parents in their homes to do so, and to make practical arrangements.
If you wish to know more please contact the Vicar, Reverend Ken Shill on 0115 920 0816.