It’s great that you are thinking about a Thanksgiving for you child here at St Mary’s.  We are thrilled that you are eager to find out more and are considering to have a service for your child.

We hope that this page helps answer some of your questions and will help you as you think through whether this is the right step for you at this time. 

A Thanksgiving Service

You may have heard about a service called a ‘Thanksgiving’.  Some people call it a ‘Naming Ceremony’ or a ‘Blessing’, others still call it a ‘Christening’.  The service is available to everyone who would like it, whether you attend church or not and whether or not you feel comfortable calling yourself a Christian.

It is a wonderful service which (as it says on the tin) gives thanks to God for the life of your child and asks for God’s protection and God’s help in bringing the child up.

At a thanksgiving service the minister will lay hands on your child and pray for you and your child. They will give you a candle as a sign of Jesus’ light in your lives and children can have godparents to support them.

This service is becoming the most popular service parents choose. They are easy to book up and plan and parents love the informality of the services which can be shaped around each family’s particular wishes. As the service can take place outside normal service times it is easy to arrange around a family party or celebration. Unlike at at a baptism parents can also choose the music and give it a very personal flavour with your own powerpoint slideshow.

You may be wondering about the difference between a thanksgiving and a baptism.  A baptism is the way we declare our faith in Christ and mark ourselves out as his disciples.  If you are interested in finding out more about what it means, check out our baptism page here

What to do next?

If you want to take any of this further the best person to get in touch with is the Vicar, Richard Wilson.  Preparing for baptism usually takes several months because baptism is so important to the us as a church.

Our main aim is to help you, as a parent, to disciple your family in the most effective way.  Check out the Parenting for Faith page about how we can support you in this more.

If you want to make contact – email Richard on