Baptisms & Thanksgivings

At St James we love to welcome new members into our church family through either a Service of Thanksgiving or Baptism.

A Service of Thanksgiving
If you would like to give thanks to God for the gift of your new child and seek God’s blessing on them but don’t feel ready to commit yourself fully to the Christian faith yet or would prefer to let your child make a personal decision about their own baptism as they grow up, then the Service of Thanksgiving is designed especially for you! 

The Service of Thanksgiving is a moving ceremony that involves prayers of thanksgiving for the birth of your child; the naming of your child, and asking God’s blessing both on the child and on you as parents. You will not be asked to make public professions about your faith in Jesus Christ or your commitment to the church in this service.   

When do Thanksgiving Services take place?
Services of Thanksgiving take place during the main Sunday Service at 10.30am.

What about Godparents?
In a Service of Thanksgiving a child may have sponsors who have a similar role to that of godparents in a baptism.

How do I book a Service of Thanksgiving?
If you wish to have a Service of Thanksgiving for your child, do come along on a Sunday and speak to one of the clergy and we would love to arrange this for you as soon as possible.


A Service of Baptism
Baptism (which is another name for Christening) is a long standing Christian ceremony of welcoming a person into the family of faith.

There are many rich images of what baptism is all about: new birth, washing and cleansing and also welcoming.

At St James we welcome adults who wish to make public their declaration of the Christian faith through baptism. We also welcome children whose families are committed Christians and wish them to be baptised, pledging to raise them in the Christian faith as a member of the church.

Baptism as an Adult
The baptism service involves making a public declaration of faith: this means answering some questions and making a decision to follow Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and joining with the church in the affirmation of faith in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Baptism as a Child
Christian parents naturally want their children to be brought up as fellow members of the Church. Because children are too young to make this commitment themselves, parents and godparents make the promises on the child’s behalf as well as their own. This involves questions and affirmation of faith being put to the parents and godparents.

What about Godparents?
If you decide to have your child baptised you will want to think carefully about godparents.  It is usual to have at least three godparents, two male and one female for a boy and two female and one male for a girl.  They should be baptised and confirmed and be practising members of a church. Godparents of other denominations are very welcome.

How do I book a baptism?
Clearly baptism only makes sense if parents and godparents are themselves committed Christians and involved in the life of the church community. So, if you are not already a regular member of St James, it is vital that you come along on Sundays for a while. If in time you feel at home among us, then you can speak to a member of the clergy and we can arrange a time to meet to begin exploring the possibility of baptism.

Baptism Preparation
All candidates for baptism must undertake baptism preparation. This normally involves at least two sessions where we discuss the essential aspects of the Christian faith and what baptism means.