This page explains the two types of services available at Holy trinity, Hartshill in order to help you make an informed decision as to which is right for you and your child. At Holy Trinity we can offer you a Thanksgiving or a Baptism service. (You may know the Baptism service as a Christening – it’s the same service just a different name!)
Service of Thanksgiving
A service to give you an opportunity to give thanks to God for your child and to remind us all of God’s love for us.
This is a service for parents who would like to celebrate or mark the birth of their child with a service. In a service of thanksgiving we can give thanks for the Child’s life and ask for God’s blessing upon them. The child’s name is given and family and friends are invited to give their support to the child and the family.
It is an ideal service if you want to your child to make their own decisions and promises when they are older. It is also the most suitable service if you are not ready to make the promises and commitment of faith required for a Baptism service. And although you would not have God parents you are able to have sponsors instead.
You may request readings or hymns for the service which we will include where possible and prayers can be said for other members of the family (or friends) too.
The Thanksgiving will take place during a regular church service and dates will be discussed with you after an initial visit.
This service is based around a Bible story in which parents
took their children to Jesus. Jesus welcomed them, took them
in his arms and blessed them. This is what we do in the service
of Thanksgiving and blessing.
Baptism (or Christening)
Baptism is a service about your commitment to God on your child’s behalf and the promises you make to God for them.
It is usual to choose 3 Godparents to help your child grow in faith and deepen their relationship with God as they grow up and will make the same promises as the parents in the service. However, all your family and friends who attend will also have an opportunity to declare their support in helping your child in their new life in Christ and welcoming them into the life of the church. Because of the importance of the promises made we ask God to help us fulfil the words we say to Him and as such the promises made should not be taken lightly or falsely.
Promises and Decisions made at Baptism include:
- Turning to Christ
- Saying sorry to God for the wrong things we have done
- Promising to pray for your child
- Drawing them, by your example, into attending Church
- Encouraging them to grow in faith as they grow older
If you feel unable to make any of the promises set in the Baptism service – then we will be very happy to offer you a Thanksgiving service instead.
What to do next?
As Baptism requires you to promise to help your child in becoming a member of Christ’s Church, we ask that you come along and join us for at least one service to get to know our Church family. We would love to support and encourage you as you prepare for this important step in your journey of faith, so please come along to one of our church services, at 10.00 am on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month. Baptisms take place within a regular church service and families often find it helpful to be a part of a service before their child’s baptism is arranged.
You will then receive at least one visit from our baptism team to discuss the service in more detail and to talk with you further about the promises made in Baptism. After this dates for the service will be discussed with you.
Here are a few of the most common questions we are often asked:
1) What is the main difference between Baptisms and Thanksgivings?
A thanksgiving service is designed to thank God for the precious gift of your child and to ask God’s blessing for them. Thanksgiving involves prayers and a commitment of support from family and friends. Baptism, however, requires you to declare a commitment of faith and make promises to God and is an outward sign of a person’s faith in Jesus. Godparents must also be able to make these promises to help your child in their journey of faith. Baptism requires a serious commitment on behalf of your child and as such we encourage you to become a part of our church family that we can help you fulfil the promises and commitments made during the service.
2) If we choose a Thanksgiving, will we still be able to have a party?
By its nature, the Thanksgiving is a cause for celebration and so yes, you can still have a party!
3) If we choose a Thanksgiving service now, will we be able to have our child baptised in the future?
Yes! If you do not yet feel ready to make the necessary commitments and promises required in a Baptism service at this point then a Thanksgiving service would be more appropriate now and a Baptism service at a later date.
4) Can I have my child Baptised even if I’m not Baptised?
Yes! Jesus welcomes all who wish to be baptised. You may wish to consider being baptised at the same service and make it a double celebration! We will be happy to discuss this further with you.
5) How much does it cost?
Nothing! There is no charge for a Baptism or a Thanksgiving service. There will be a collection taken during the service if you want to make a contribution to the church – but please feel under no obligation to do so. It is a gift of the church from us to you.
6) I’m still not sure / I have a few more questions…
If you have any questions about Baptism or Thanksgiving services (or about the Christian faith and Church) then please do ask the minister (Heather) who will be very happy to speak to you in more detail.