Baptisms and Confirmations
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
The Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child is not part of Christian Initiation but is often used by parents in place of baptism. This service can take place as a private or public celebration of a birth or adoption; and can take place at home or at church. The service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child can be a preliminary to baptism; an alternative to infant baptism; or simply an opportunity for parents to recognise that something wonderful has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God
For more information on Services of Thanksgiving please Click here.
Baptism is a service of Christian initiation; and while the Church of England traditionally offers baptism to infants there is no age requirement on baptism – it is also available to all people, regardless of their age, so long as they have not been baptised previously. In a service of baptism for babies and children, the parents and godparents make a commitment to pray for the child and to draw him or her in the community of faith; to walk with them in the way of Christ; and to help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church. In adult baptism, the candidates make the promises for themselves.
In 2004 in the Diocese of Lichfield 6,560 services of baptism (4,330 babies; 1,870 children; and 360 adults) were held - an increase of four per cent on the previous year.
For more information on Baptism please Click Here.
At a service of Confirmation people renew the baptism promises in a public profession of their faith; services of Confirmation will follow a course of instruction in what it means to be a Christian; so candidates will normally be at least 12 years old; although there is no upper age limit and the bishops are regularly confirming adults as people come to faith in Christ in later life. Confirmation is the service at which people become full members of the Church of England, and the bishop will lay hands on the candidates and pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon those who are to be confirmed. Confirmation used to mark the point at which a candidate might receive Holy Communion, but the Diocese of Lichfield, like many in the Church of England, is piloting a scheme to admit children to communion before Confirmation, as part of community-based mission initiatives.
In 2004 in the Diocese of Lichfield the bishops Confirmed 1,399 people into membership of the Church of England.
For more information about Confirmation please Click Here.
For 2012 Confirmation dates Click Here
For the theology behind Christian initiation please Click Here.