Baptisms & Thanksgiving for a Child
Can my child be Baptised at St Mary's or St Anne's?
Anyone who lives in the Parish of Moseley, or who worships with us regularly, can be baptised in our churches.
To check whether you live in the parish, enter your postcode into the following website - https://www.achurchnearyou.com/
What is a service of Thanksgiving for a Child?
If your child has been Baptised in another church (for example a family church, in another part of the country), but you worship with us, we would be happy to give thanks for your child's birth during a service, and to welcome them into the congregation. We would normally ask you to bring your child's baptismal candle with you to the service.
The Baptism Service (Christening)
Baptisms take place in our 10am Sung Eucharist Service at St Mary’s Church or the 11am Sung Eucharist Service at St Anne’s Church. These services are attended by people of all generations, including lots of local families at St Mary’s in particular. Through baptism, your child is welcomed into the church family, so it is important to us that regular members of our congregation are in attendance to give this welcome.
The Baptism service uses 3 important symbols.
1. The sign of the Cross – this is the sign of faith in the Christian journey which reminds us of God’s love in Christ’s death for us.
2. Water – water is a sign of new life; we are born again by water and the Spirit.
3. Candle - the newly-baptised receive a lighted candle to signify Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
We begin the service by praising God and asking him to renew us with his Spirit. We then hear a reading from the Bible and listen to a short talk.
After the talk, the parents and godparents are invited to stand around the font. The Vicar asks the parents and godparents three questions. After each question, the parents and godparents respond “We will”:
Will you support these children as they begin their journey of faith? We will.
Will you help them to live and grow within God’s family? We will.
God knows each of us by name and we are his. Parents and godparents, you speak for N and N today. Will you pray for them, and help them to follow Christ? We will.
The water is then poured into the font and is blessed. The whole congregation then confirm their faith through another series of questions and responses.
Your child is then baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Your child is blessed and prayed for. We then welcome your child into the Church and God’s peace is shared.
During “the Peace”, members of the congregation may offer to shake your hand with the words “Peace be with you” – the normal response is to shake the person’s hand, and reply with the words “Peace be with you”. You are very welcome to move out of the pew or seat that you are sitting in during the peace, but there is no requirement to do so.
The service then moves to the sharing of the Eucharist. After the Eucharistic prayers, an official of the church will invite each row of people in the congregation (starting from the front of the church and working towards the back) to come forward to the altar rail to receive communion (bread and wine) or a blessing. At St Anne’s it is slightly different – members of the congregation stand in a horse-shoe shape to receive communion. There is no requirement to receive communion or a blessing if you do not wish to – you may opt to remain seated in your pew or seat.
As the service ends, the newly-baptised come to the front of the church with their parents and godparents and are given a lighted candle. The godparents are also presented with a baptism card to mark the special day. We suggest that godparents don’t put this away in a drawer for safe-keeping but keep it on display. It can then act as a reminder for you to think about and pray for your godchild each day as they grow up.
To book a Baptism
Contact the Church office to start the conversation. We will ask for some basic details to check that you either live within our parish, or that you worship with us. We will then send you a link via email to a Baptism Form which asks for details of godparents etc.
Please note that at St Mary's, dates for Baptisms are programmed for roughly once a month. At St Anne's, we have more flexibility about dates when Baptisms can take place.
We normally book no more than two families into each Baptism date. This helps to ensure that the service is personal to the Baptism families.
In the month before the Baptism takes place, one of our Vicars will arrange to visit you at home, to talk through the service.