We seek to love and support parents and their children from their earliest days right through to adulthood.
For many people this begins with a special church service, either a Thanksgiving or a Baptism. These services are, of course, primarily acts of Christian worship. But they are also offer an opportunity for your family and friends to gather together and join you in celebrating the precious gift of your child.
To begin to arrange a Thanksgiving or a Baptism please come along to our weekly surgery at the Parish Centre which is on the Emmanuel site (6 Barlow Moor Road) between 7.00-7.30pm on Monday evenings. If this is not possible or if you would like some further information then please e-mail us or call the Parish Office on 0161 446 4150. At the surgery or at the Parish Office you will be asked to fill out a registration form. You do not need to fill it out in advance but a copy is available to download here.
There are two further steps you will need to undertake.
The first is to attend any of our Sunday services at least six times over the course of the next six months. (There are normally four services each Sunday.) This is not because we want to force you to come to church. We ask parents to join our regular Sunday services because they are a good opportunity to get to know a little more about us as a church family, including who we are and what we believe. The commitment to having your child baptised is an expression of your commitment, as parents, to Christ and the Christian faith. We would like to support you in your personal journey of faith and look forward to getting to know you.
In St James there is a traditional Holy Communion service at 9 am and a family friendly somewhat traditional service at 10.30 am. In Emmanuel there is a more contemporary family friendly service at 10.30 am and a contemporary evening service at 6.15 pm. During both 10.30 am services there are children’s groups available and parent supervised creches. More details are available on the services page of our website and the Parish Office can provide more information. Regardless of which service you choose to attend, you will need to get the ‘Thanksgiving/Baptism’ card you were given when you registered stamped at the end of each service.
The second thing you will need to do is to come to a ‘Celebrating the Gift of a Child’ evening. These are run every few months from 8-9.30pm on a Wednesday and are an opportunity for you to find out more about both services and to get answers to any questions you may have. Once you have registered you will be invited to the next available Celebrating the Gift of a Child evening.
Somewhere along the way you will need to arrange godparents or supporters. We encourage people to wait until they have attended the ‘Celebrating the Gift of a Child’ evening before they approach prospective godparents or sponsors because the evening will provide an opportunity to explore their role and this may affect your choice of who you ask. However, if you have already approached someone, please don’t panic! Regardless of when you ask someone to be a godparent, it is important that you take time to talk to them about their role as a godparent, especially if your child is to be baptised.
Once you have completed both the ‘Thanksgiving/Baptism’ service attendance card and have come to one of the ‘Celebrating the Gift of a Child’ evenings you will then be able to book a date for either a Thanksgiving or Baptism service.
Whether you think you might be interested in a Thanksgiving or Baptism service to celebrate the gift of your child, we encourage you to pray for you and your child regularly. You may find the following simple prayer helpful:
Father God, thank you for [your child’s name]
and the great gift he/she is to our family.
Please help us as a family to love and care for one another,
now and in the years to come.
In Jesus name. Amen.