Anyone who lives within the area served by the Upper Holme Valley Team or has a strong family connection to Christ Church is welcome to discuss the possibility of a Christening here. The notes below will help you think a bit more about what this would mean.
In a Christening service your child will be baptized with water in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. At Christ Church, the font – the big stone basin into which the water for baptism is poured – is placed near to the church door. This is to show that being baptized is the ‘way in’ to being a member of the Church. At Christ Church we take this so seriously that youngsters who have been baptized can be prepared to receive Holy Communion before being confirmed, simply on the strength of their baptism. Once you are baptized, you are a full member of God’s Church.
Most parents bring their children for baptism because, amongst other things, they ‘want the best’ for their child. On the day of their baptism children are welcomed with joy into the fellowship of God’s Church; and in the years to come the church will offer continuing support as they grow in faith through participation in church worship, our Junior Church and the Weavers Youth Group.
Baptism is a family affair – by being baptized a child becomes part of the family of the Church, not just in New Mill but throughout the world – and the child’s family and friends (particularly the Godparents) commit themselves to bringing the child up as part of the Christian family. At Christ Church we aim to make the baptism of a child a warm, welcoming and memorable event that the family will always remember in the years ahead as a special start to a special journey of faith.
In preparation for your child’s baptism, you will meet with representatives of Christ Church who will talk you through all the practical details of the service, and explore with you the meaning of baptism for your family and for the Church. An important part of early discussions with church representatives is the setting of a date for the service. You will not necessarily be able to have your preferred date, so please do not make arrangements for celebrations or send invitations until the date has been agreed with church!
Before the Christening, you will bring your child to church to a service during which there will be a Thanksgiving for your child. Your child will be blessed and prayed for and we will pray for you too. For some families, this service is sufficient and they do not go on to present their child for baptism as they do not want to make the commitment of faith that baptism requires.
If you do want to go on to baptism for your child, then the Christening service in which they are to be baptized will be arranged. After the Christening, and on a Sunday convenient to yourselves, you will bring your child back to church for a further service at which the Baptism Certificate will be presented, and you will have the chance to get to know other members of the church family under less pressure than at the Christening itself! We hope this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship between your family and the Church here at New Mill, and we will keep in touch in the future with news of events and services.
PLEASE REMEMBER the above notes relate to the baptism of children, but adults can be baptized too! Godparents must have been baptized, and sometimes adults ask to be baptized so they can act as Godparents. If this is the case for any of the Godparents you have in mind, they must organise their baptism well in advance of your child’s Christening service.