If you are considering either a Thanksgiving for a baby or a Baptism (Christening), or you are thinking of getting confirmed, you can find out more about what these services involve below. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to hold your ceremony at St George‘s.
What is a Thanksgiving Service?
This service gives the opportunity for parents and families to express their delight and gratitude to God for the new being they are welcoming into their home, to pray for the child, and to ask others to pray also. It is also an opportunity to ask publicly for God’s blessing on the child.
What happens at a Thanksgiving Service?
The minister will ask you if you receive your child as a gift from God. The name of your child is publicly announced, prayers are said for your child who then receives God’s blessing. Your child is presented with a copy of the Gospel. As parents, you yourselves are then prayed for.
Do we have godparents at a Thanksgiving Service?
No, but you may wish to ask two or three friends or relatives to be ‘Supporting Friends’. These friends will, at the service, promise to support you as you bring up your child. They are not asked to make any other promises. They do not need to be baptised or to be members of a church.
Can we have our child baptised at some later date?
Of course you may - indeed, we hope you will. You may also wish to ask the friends whom you asked to be Supporting Friends to be Godparents if they are themselves baptised and feel able to make the promises of baptism.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a ‘sacrament’: a visible sign of God’s love. In baptism we are thanking God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey in faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ, and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.
What happens at a Baptism Service?
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You, and the child’s godparents, will be asked to answer on your child’s behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and to turn instead towards Christ. You will promise to pray for your child, to teach him/her about the Christian faith and to join the life and worship of a church.
Can anyone be a godparent?
Yes, provided they are baptised and can make the promises in the service. (We will give you leaflets for the godparents explaining these promises.) Boys usually have two godfathers and one godmother. Girls usually have two godmothers and one godfather. You may, however, choose more than this if you wish.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus.
St George’s is part of the Beacon Team of six local churches and we hold a Team Confirmation Service in May every year. Leading up to this we offer confirmation preparation in our parish church schools: Selside, Grayrigg and Burneside. Some of our young people come to Confirmation through attendance at our Youth Group the Torchbearers. We also help adults already attending church to be confirmed, should they wish it.