At Saint Ninian’s we’d love to join with you and your family in celebrating each life event in your family.
Many people choose to mark the arrival of a new family member with a service of Baptism or Thanksgiving, but of course we’re happy to do this for anyone of any age.
As a Christian church we uphold the view that baptism marks the beginning of a new life; one which is both spiritual as well as physical. We believe that baptism marks the entry into membership of the church, that is the people of God, not just a building. It is a time when serious promises about faith are made and when we acknowledge power of the Holy Spirit and actions of Jesus as being necessary for salvation.
We also offer a Service of Thanksgiving. This is aimed at those who want to mark the arrival of a new baby, to gather in church and celebrate a new life, to give thanks to God and to seek His blessing.
Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!
It’s good that you’re thinking about joining us to celebrate the birth of your child as you want to mark the arrival of the newest member of your family.
In days past when church attendance was a more regular part of people’s lives most babies were ‘christened’ soon after they were born, but times change and things have moved on since.
Fewer people go to church these days, but the idea that a ‘christening’ for a child is a good thing has remained.
Why is that?
Part of it is ‘folk-religion’ and even sometimes ‘superstition’ but there is more to it than that…
When a new life enters the world one of the most natural responses is to want to involve God. Even in this scientific age that we seem to be living in there is still an incredible sense of wonder at a new life – the ‘miracle’ of birth – and so it is only natural that people want to bring their baby to God for a divine blessing.
Why have a 'christening?'
Different people have different things in mind when they ask for a christening for their child:
- To some it’s a way of giving a baby a good start in life
- Others think it is about naming the baby properly
- Some see it as a way of getting family and friends together for a celebration party to welcome their new baby
- For some it simply feels like the ‘right thing to do’ because they themselves were christened
- For some, it’s about having the baby blessed
- For others it’s a vital way of introducing their baby to the Christian faith which they hold and to the church to which they belong
Which of these is the closest to what you are looking for? The answer to this question will help you to decide what sort of service* you might want to have because there is a choice.
*(There actually is no service of ‘christening’ at all – ‘christening’ is a nickname which has become associated with the service that the Bible and the Church calls Baptism.)
At Saint Ninian’s like many other churches, you can choose to have either a ‘Baptism’ or a ‘Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child’ and to help you decide which would suit you better, please contact either the Vicar or Assistant Curate:
Frequently Asked Questions
What about Godparents? – At a Baptism the usual number of Godparents is three, of whom two are normally the same gender as the child. All Godparents should be over 16 years old. Their job is to pray regularly for your child and to help you bring him or her up as a practicing Christian with regular involvement in the life of the Church community.
Therefore it is essential that your chosen Godparents are people with a real living faith. They should be baptised and be practicing Christians.
The Thanksgiving Service has ‘Supporting Friends’ instead. If you have Godparents in mind who are not baptised (something they may wish to consider), it may be that they would be better as Supporting Friends at a Thanksgiving.
(NB – Please note that Godparents are not necessarily the people who would look after your child if you were to die. If you want to appoint guardians for your child you should do this in your will and consult with an advocate).
Do the parents have to be baptised? – For a Baptism, at least one parent should be baptised and it is always enouraged that both parents would be. This is not a requirement for Thanksgiving.
How much does it cost? – There is no charge for either service. If you and your family and friends would like to make a donation to the continued mission and ministry of the church that will be gratefully received.
What if ‘anything should happen’ to the child? – Sometimes parents have a concern that a child who is not baptised cannot go to heaven. We don’t believe that this is theologically correct. God loves all his children, whether small or all grown up, whether they are baptised or not, so please don’t worry!