We’re very pleased that you are interested in coming to St. Nicholas’ Church for a baptism (or ‘christening’ – it means the same thing). It is a good idea to spend am moment thinking about what baptism is all about, so that you can be sure this is what you want, and so that you can think about what this involves for you, and for your child, so please read the explanation below. If you want to go ahead, please go along to the Enquiry Evening every Monday night (except Bank Holidays) in the church from 7.30pm – 8.15pm. We are also delighted to welcome adults who wish to be baptised – please contact Liz England to find about more about this.
What is baptism?
It’s a bit of a strange thing to do – taking a little child to church, and pouring water over them.
Why do we do it? What is the point of baptism?
- It is joining a new family. When your child was born they became part of their own family. Now, through baptism, they can become part of the family of the church.
- It is sharing in new life. We give thanks for the birth of your child – for their new life. Baptism is the way that she or he can share also in the new life God gives us.
- It is the beginning of a journey of faith.
What does this mean for parents and godparents?
Bringing your child to be baptised means that you want them to grow up knowing that God loves them, and learning to follow his way. As parents you are in the best position to help them in this spiritual growing – by talking to them, by praying for them and with them, and by helping them to share in the life of their church family.
This is also the role of the godparents – that’s why they should be baptised themselves, and it’s good if at least one of the godparents is more involved in a church. Your child needs at least one godfather and godmother, and you may chose three or four godparents (or even five).
We have a Baptism Preparation meeting in the week before the service, when you and – if possible – the godparents can come along to the Parish Rooms (half way up Church Road), meet the minister taking the service and the other parents over a coffee, and find out more about the service.
The baptism service
Baptism services are usually held at 1.00pm on the second Sunday of the month, and last about 40 minutes. There will usually be up to three other families there as well. There is always a lovely atmosphere, and you and your family will be made very welcome.
There is no charge for a baptism service. There will be an opportunity for those who wish to support the work of the church, and there are Gift Aid envelopes to use. There will be lots of opportunities for photos after the service, but for the sake of all the families, we do ask those who come not to take photos during the service.
It is possible for some children to be baptised during the 9.30am and 11.15am services if there is already a family link with those services – please contact Simon to talk about this. It is also possible to have the baptism at St. Peter’s Church if you live in Codsall Wood.
Before the service
As well as the Baptism Preparation meeting, we ask you to bring your child to at least one 11.15am Service before the baptism (or two if you live outside the parish). This will help you feel more relaxed and familiar with the church, and introduce you and your child to the church family. The 11.15am Service is very relaxed and informal, with lots of other parents and children, and you will soon feel at home. We hope that this may be the beginning of your child’s belonging to the church here.
After the service
Baptism, is all about belonging so we ask you to bring your child back to the next 11.15am Service, to be welcomed by the wider church. This is when we will present them with their certificate and a bible story book. Godparents and others may like to come to this, if they are able.
If you live outside the parish
If you don’t live in Codsall, you would normally take your child to your local parish church to be baptised. If there is a reason that you would like to come to St. Nicholas’, we ask you to pass on a letter to your local church minister to ask if this is OK – we like to keep on the right side of our neighbours! We ask those who live outside the parish to come to a couple of 11.15 services before the baptism day, to make a real connection with the church here.
What happens next?
Your child’s baptism is the beginning of their journey of faith. In the baptism service you and the godparents promise to help them on that journey. One way is to pray for them. Here is a prayer you could use…
Loving Father, thank you for our child …………….
Help us to care for him/her well, to show him/her your love and teach him/her your ways. Please be with him/her all of their life, and surround him/her with your love. Amen.
You can also pray with your child – perhaps saying a simple prayer together at the end of the day, including a ‘thank-you’ time and a ‘please help’ time. It’s lovely to sing a song at bedtime too – like ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’. Later on, children enjoy bible story books. And talk with your child about God – you don’t have to know all the answers.
Finding a place in the church family
It’s a shame to be part of a family and then never see them. Here are some ways you can help your child make a link:
- Tots@St.Nic’s – a twice monthly toddler service with simple crafts, songs & a story for children aged 0 upwards.
- The 11.15am Service in St. Nic’s every Sunday is great for families.
- We put on Messy Church afternoons several times a year.
- We have special services at Christmas and other times during the year.
To find out more please come to our Enquiry Evening on Monday nights (except Bank Holidays) between 7.30pm – 8.15pm in church – we will be delighted to meet you there.