Baptism  and Thanksgiving

Infant baptism

A very warm welcome to St. Mary’s Church.  As a church family we range in age from 0 - 95+ and we love having children and families as part of our church.

Whether your have a fairly new-born baby or children a bit older, we hope that both you and they will feel really welcome within the family.  We are committed as a church to helping parents in bringing up their children.

Marking the birth of a child

Many parents want to mark the birth of a child, either when the child has been born or some time after that.  There are two ways to do this at St Mary’s and we want to help you find the way that is right for you.

Baptism is for children of parents who are trusting in Jesus for themselves.  Baptism is often called ‘christening’ although at St Mary’s, we prefer the term baptism.  Getting a child baptised doesn’t make them a Christian - that is a decision your child will have to make for him or herself once they are older.  Baptism involves answering some serious questions - regarding your own trust in Jesus as parents and your intention to bring your child up to know and trust Jesus for themselves.

Thanksgiving is for children of parents who want to thank God and seek his blessing.  You don’t have to be trusting in Jesus yourself to have a thanksgiving service and you don’t make any specific undertakings in terms of what you believe or how you will bring your child up.  You’re asked whether you believe your child is a gift from God and whether you wish to seek God’s blessing.

We would expect, for baptism, that a child’s parents would normally be married to one another.  For a Thanksgiving there is no requirement for the parents to be married.

Baptisms and Thanksgivings both take place at the 11.00 service at St Mary’s. This is an informal service with a number of families and young children. There is a manned crèche every week.  On most Sundays there is XTB which is for children aged 3-11. On the 4th Sunday of the month, we have an All Age service where all ages stay in the church service together.

Thanksgivings are held at the All Age service on the 4th Sunday of each month.  Baptisms are held by arrangement with Richard or David.


What do we need to do?




For those interested in baptism, we ask you to start coming regularly to church for a few months.


For a Thanksgiving we recommend that you come at least once to an All-Age service, preferably one where a Thanksgiving is taking place.  (Contact Duncan Beet to check the dates of these.)

Can we book a date now?

For baptism, we ask you to come regularly to church for a few months and then have baptism preparation (see below) before we book a date.


Yes, Duncan will be happy to book a date for a Thanksgiving with you.

What about godparents?

For baptism, your child’s godparents also need to be trusting in Jesus. They make the same promises in the baptism service that you make as parents.


In the thanksgiving service you have "supporting friends".  They don't have to have a Christian faith - in fact they can be of any faith or none.

Sue with Liana


Ross & Emily with Alfie

I chose to have Liana baptised because being a member of the church family is very rewarding.  Also I wanted her to come to know Jesus for herself, grow up to experience his love, and trust in him as I do.


We wanted a service that was right for us.  We didn't want to make promises we couldn't make or keep, so the thanksgiving service was perfect for us and where we were in our journey.

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Why do we need to come to church to have our child baptised?

Coming to church won't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage would turn you into a car, but if you're thinking of having a child baptised, it's important to come to church for a number of reasons.

  • It's good practice!  In the baptism service you'll promise to bring your child to come to church and be part of the church family with them.  It would be silly to make you promise to come to church after your child's baptism if you'd never come before it.

  • It helps you understand the baptism service and the promises you make.  Coming to church will help you make sense of what it means to be a Christian and what is involved.

  • It helps you get to know us.  Baptism is about bringing a child into the church family.  You will want to know whether we're a church family that you want you and your child to be part of.

  • It helps us to know you.  In the baptism service the whole church family promises that they will welcome your child and pray for them.  That is hard for them to do if they have never met you!

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Baptism Preparation

Gareth McCague

There are two baptism preparation sessions which are run by two members of the church family, Gareth McCague and Marian Smith.  You will meet both Gareth and Marian at the 11.00 service.  They will come to your home at a mutually convenient time, usually in an evening when children are asleep (hopefully!)  Gareth and Marian will go through the baptism service with you, helping you to explore what is involved with it.  Each session will last less than an hour.

You then meet with Duncan Beet to arrange the baptism.

Marian Smith

Gareth McCague

Marian Smith

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