Thanksgivings and Baptisms
Giving thanks to God for every child
Every child is a gift from God and so we always thank God for every child born in our church family and our community. We do this with a service of thanksgiving, where we name each child and ask God to bless their life and give them faith.
Intrdocution to our understanding and practice of communion
I want to explain to you how we understand and practice baptism as members of the Church of England.
At Holy Trinity, we baptise adults who make a credible profession of faith in Jesus and we baptise the children of believing parents and godparents because God is the God who makes covenants with his people and the church is God’s covenant community.
A covenant is an agreement based on promises. The covenant community is a group of people who hold to those promises.
Baptism is the way people enter into God’s covenant community, the church. Baptism is a mark of entry.
Before baptism, God gave Abraham a different mark of the covenant community. At that time, the mark of entry was the circumcision of baby boys, eight days old.
Jesus was circumcised as a baby to mark his place in the covenant community and, when he started his teaching ministry, he was baptised by John the Baptist.
Jesus visibly joins the Old Testament covenant community to the New Testament church by his circumcision and by his baptism.
After Jesus had died, was raised and returned to his Father’s side, the early church had to work out what to do about circumcision. The Apostles decided that circumcision was no longer required because of baptism.
And so we baptise children into the covenant community of the church of Jesus Christ to which their parent(s) and godparents belong by their own repentance for sin, faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to his teaching and love for their brothers and sisters.
All members of the church are expected to teach one another, including the children. We are to teach about the person of Jesus, God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and what it means to repent, trust, obey and love.
We pray that God will give baptised children repentance, faith, obedience and love that their baptism points to; that they will be born again of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5), as we welcome them into the church family.
For anyone who was not baptised as a child, the right response to the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus is to know our guilt for the sins we have done, to feel very sorry, to repent, which means turning away from our old life towards Jesus and to be baptised into his covenant community, the church.
The Apostle Peter said these words on the very first day of the church of Jesus Christ, the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-38).
Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
If you have a child who you would like to baptise, but you are not a member of Holy Trinity, please come along to a service or call the vicar, Neil Robbie (07810 544 265), and he will welcome you and talk about ways you can celebrate and give thanks to God for the birth of your child and how to prepare for baptism.