You are probably reading this because you want the church to help you to celebrate the gift of a child. Children are a precious gift, and the church is delighted to celebrate their life with you. We want you to be able to celebrate the gift of a child in a way that is right for you.
That is why we give you a choice of two types of service to mark the occasion. These pages are designed to let you know about these choices, and to help you decide which is
right for you.
Christening or Baptism?
These are the same thing.
What are Christening and Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child?
You are probably reading this because you would like the church to help you to celebrate the gift of a child. Children are a precious gift and the church is delighted to celebrate their life with you. We want you to be able to celebrate the gift of a child in a way that is right for you, which is why we give you a choice of two types of service to mark the occasion. These are Christening or Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child.
This is a once in a lifetime service of initiation into the Christian Church. It involves pouring water over the child’s head as a sign of cleansing and new life in Christ. It also involves the parents and godparents making a public faith commitment to follow Christ in their own lives and to encourage the child to follow Christ as they get older. It is important that parents and godparents feel comfortable making
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
This special service is a wonderful way of gathering friends and family together to welcome and celebrate the gift of a child. It involves thanking God for the child’s life, blessing the child by name, and expressing hope for the child’s future.
There is also a role for Sponsors (similar to godparents) who promise to help the parents as they bring up the child.
What is the role of a Godparent?
To be a godparent is a privilege, a responsibility and a challenge. Godparents make the same promises as do the child’s parents. They declare their own belief and trust in God and in Jesus Christ, and promise that, by prayer and example, they will lead their godchild into the same faith (this applies to Christening only).
Who can be godparents?
Any friend or relative who has agreed to take on this responsibility can be a godparent provided they themselves are Christian. All godparents must themselves have been Christened and, ideally, should also have been confirmed into the Christian faith.
How many godparents does my child need?
There is no limit to the number of godparents your child can have. Traditionally it is three - two of the same gender as the child and one of the other. Thus a girl would usually have two godmothers and one godfather and a boy one godmother and two godfathers. It is possible for a parent to be a godparent, as long as there is at least one other. The minimum is two - a godmother and a godfather.
What is the role of a Sponsor?
Being a sponsor is a huge responsibility and privilege so, as with godparents, you will want to choose carefully. If you decide that Christening is not for you at this time, you can still invite particular friends and family to undertake the special role of sponsor to help you bring up your child. We would suggest that your child have at least one male and one female sponsor although this is optional for Thanksgiving.
If your child is being Christened they may have sponsors (who have not been Christened) as well as godparents (who have been Christened).
What are the similarities and differences between the two services?
Opportunity for family and friends to gather
Thanks given for the life of the child
Child blessed by name
Celebration of hopes for child’s future
Opportunity for others to promise to support parents
Affirms God’s love for the child
Open to anyone who lives in the area covered by the Team
Requires parents and godparents to make Christian commitment
Strong expectation that parents will bring child up as a Christian
Child becomes a member of the church
For more information please visit churchofenglandchristenings.org
How do I book a Christening or Thanksgiving Service?
Contact the Team Administrator, Sue Macdonald, who is responsible for Christenings::
or call 079778 78094 / 01858 469330 (Office)
Please give your name, address and
If this is your first child or first child to be Christened within the Harborough Team you will be invited to come to a Christening Preparation Meeting.
These are usually held once a month at 10am on the first Saturday of the month. You will meet one of the Clergy and a member of the Christening Team who will explain your options and ask you to consider which service you feel is right for you and your child.
You may book a date for the service when you first contact Sue, but this will remain provisional until you have attended the meeting.
Once you have attended the meeting and decided whether you would like a Christening service or a Thanksgiving service, you should contact Sue and she will send you an application form. This should be completed and returned as soon as possible so that the date can be confirmed.
If you have already had a child Christened in one of the team churches Sue will send you an application form once you have made contact with her. In all cases, the final decision upon the time and date of
Christening or thanksgiving services rests with the clergy.
When the booking has been confirmed the minister responsible for the service will contact you to arrange to visit you shortly before the service. There is no charge for Christenings or thanksgivings. However, a collection plate is made available at the service for donations for the work of the church.
Please arrange a date for your service with us before you make any other plans. Christenings and Thanksgivings are sometimes incorporated into Sunday morning services.
As a guide only:
The first Sunday in the month at 12.45pm.
The second (12.45pm) and third (11.00am) Sundays in the month.
By arrangement, during the 9.15am service.
St Peter & St Paul
Usually during the 10.30am service.
Please contact Sue or a member of the clergy for information.