The birth of a baby is a momentous and wonderful event.  It's no surprise that those who experience it often feel the need to mark the arrival of a new life in the church.

Traditionally, the service of baptism has served this purpose.  But the Church of England recognises that we are all at different points in a lifelong journey of discovery of God's love.  Sometimes a different service to mark the birth of a baby may be more appropriate.  We do not want to require you to make promises which you are not comfortable with.

This page seeks to help you make an informed decision about the right way ahead for you and your child

Baptism? Or Thanksgiving Service?

Most enquiries following the birth of a baby about a baptism (or christening-it's the same thing).  Many people don't realise the church offers a second option.  Sometimes baptism is the right choice for you - but you will know that more clearly if you have another option.


This does not have to be an either/or choice.  some families choose to have a Thanksgiving For the Gift of a Child early in their child's life and bring the child for baptism later.  This might be when the child has requested it, and will remember this momentous occasion.  Or it might be when they as parents feel more able to make the promises being expected of them.  Their faith has grown with the years.

Along with the whole congregation at St Mary's, we look forward to meeting you and hope that you will feel very much at home in God's Church.

If you have any questions, or would like to explore other support we can offer you as you seek to instil Christian faith in your children, Amanda Barraclough, the Rector, would be happy to help.

Tel: 01302 854836

E-mail: Amanda

By now, you will have had a chance to look at our leaflet "Thinking about baptism".  We hope that has helped your thinking towards this special day, as your child is welcomed into the family of the Church.

If you have decided that Baptism is an appropriate path for you, this is information you need.

Baptism involves:

you and the godparents:

your child:

the Church:


Christians describe baptism as a sacrament- a visible sign of God's love.  We believe that God loves everyone he has created, regardless of race, creed or colour.  At baptism we thank God for the gift of life and acknowledge his love.  We also commit ourselves to turning away from darkness in the world and in our own lives, and turning to Jesus as the light who overpowers all darkness.

Need any help? Contact Us

What will I be asked to promise during the service?

This is a huge commitment.

Please think carefully about what you are promising because it is important that promises spoken in God's presence are made with integrity.

Some parents realise they need to know more about the faith they are pledging to instil in their child.  It is more important than ever that this happens in the home.  School life is more likely to educate a child about faith rather than instil faith within them.  This is the responsibility of the home and family more fully than it has been for many generations.  Most young parents have little experience of seeing this modelled at home in their own childhoods, and are unsure how to help their children most effectively.

From time to time St. Mary's will offer short courses to support you in this.  Please contact Amanda for more information.

Thinking ahead

The arrival of a new member of the family can turn your world upside-down!  It is often a time when parents and other family members want to reassess the values and priorities which have moulded them.  Life's values can be challenged by your changing pattern of life.

What values do you want your child to be taught?

For some it is a time to think about issues of faith and values for living.  Maybe reading an account of the life of Jesus raises some questions about the values and vision of this remarkable person.  We hope that you will  maintain contact with the church as you explore his claims.  We offer a short course at various times through the year where people who want to know more can gather and discuss what Christian faith might mean for life in today's world.  It assumes no previous knowledge and is held in a relaxed and informal environment.

Contact Amanda if you want to know more.

Getting ready for the big day



Welcomes a child into God's family

Involves promises about raising a child with Christian faith

Is a public celebration-it's about God's family

Involves symbols of water, oil, and light set apart for a sacred purpose


Welcomes a child into your family

Involves promises to support the family with love

Is a private celebration-it's about your family

Asks God's blessing on you as you as raise your child

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 The Parish of Sprotbrough is committed to high  standards in the safeguarding of children, young  people and vulnerable adults.  Our safeguarding  officer is Janet Scott who can be contacted by email  here,  and our safeguarding policy can be viewed by  following this link-Safeguarding policy