Baptism and Thanksgiving
Congratulations on the birth of your child. At St Thomas with St Stephen we offer two different ceremonies to welcome you and your child into the church – baptism and thanksgiving.
A service of thanksgiving involves a public declaration with your friends and family that you are thankful to God for your child. You may wish to choose thanksgiving if you don’t come to church on a regular basis or don’t feel that you are a committed Christian. Many who do this choose to have their child baptised later as a sign of a growing Christian commitment.
In baptism you and the godparents are asked to declare your own faith and trust in Jesus, and to make promises to come to church, to pray for your child and to encourage them to trust in Jesus for themselves.
As your child is being baptised into the faith of the church and you are making promises to bring them up in this faith, we encourage a number of things before the baptism preparation and the baptism itself.
- To attend St Thomas with St Stephen regularly (3 or 4 times before arranging baptism preparation)
- To do baptism preparation. This will usually take place in your home, over 3 sessions, with both parents. We read through the Gospel of Mark together looking at who Jesus is, why he came, and how we respond.
- To read Mark's Gospel that we will send you in the post in preparation for the baptism class.
- To have a continued involvement in the life of the church following the baptism service
We would expect a minimum of three months between first attending STwSS and the baptism. The above expectations are not to make baptism difficult, but to enable you to keep growing in the faith you are promising to pass on to your child. If you are not already baptised, you might consider getting baptised as well! We have facility for both infant and adult immersion baptisms as well as the use of a font.
Dates for baptisms and thanksgivings
Baptism and thanksgivings take place in our main 10.15am Sunday service. Baptisms take place on the first Sunday of most months, with up to three baptisms in one service. Baptism dates will be discussed during baptism preparation classes.
Growing in faith
We encourage parents to experience church with their children. We actively encourage all to join in the life of our church family. We have a crèche at every 10.15am Sunday morning service as well as Sunday School groups.
You may want to visit our toddler group Little Bears at St Thomas' every Wednesday morning at 9:30am which finishes with a short toddler service. Also look out for special family events throughout the year.
We encourage all parents to attend our Alpha Course, a 7-session course exploring the Christian faith. Running from 7.45pm – 9.45pm it involves a meal, a short talk on an aspect of the Christian faith and plenty of time to discuss with others what you believe.
We have other activities such as parenting courses and Mums Bible study groups. We are always available to support and encourage both parents and children to grow in faith in Jesus and can recommend CDs, Bibles and other books about the Bible.