Child baptism


Baptism or Blessing / Thanksgiving?

At South Bersted we love children and welcome all parents who want to celebrate the birth of their baby with a service of baptism (sometimes known as a Christening) or thanksgiving. Baptism involves the parents and godparents making declarations about their own Christian faith and their intention to bring up their child in that faith, including regularly taking an active part in the worshipping life of our church. Increasingly some parents cannot do that with integrity so they choose a thanksgiving / blessing service to celebrate the birth instead of baptism because the element of commitment is more open. 

To help them fulfil the vows they will take at their child’s baptism, we also invite parents to join one of our courses exploring the Christian faith. This will help them to understand the vows you are making and it will also help them to answer their children’s questions about Christianity as they grow up. 

Which service may be right for your child?



Thanksgiving / Blessing


Can only happen in a main Sunday morning full service (in the 8.30am service if you would like it to be Traditional, or in the 11am service if you would like it to be Contemporary)

Can happen in a Sunday service, or arranged privately on a Sunday afternoon starting between 3 and 4.30pm (or at 1.00pm), or anytime on a Saturday afternoon or even mid-week


Up to 3 godparents (who have all been baptised and preferably Confirmed)

Designated supporting friends who stand alongside you in the service (any number)

of sponsors

A clear commitment to the Christian faith from at least one parent and all the godparents

A simple desire to seek God's blessing on the child

Order of Service

The baptism is a part of
the service, which is likely to contain adult teaching, unless 'All-Age' if on the 1st Sunday of the month

Friends and family can take an active part if you like, reciting a poem or a Bible reading, singing a song, playing an instrument - you can make it special and unique to your child and family if you feel creative


The songs are chosen
by others

You may choose yours or your child's favourite song/s to be played on CD (so long as the lyrics are OK) on arrival and departure

Length of Service

Between 60-75+ minutes

30 minutes

Child Friendly

Not all of the service is geared to children

There may be a
Puppet Show and Tricks!


 Flash photography is not permitted in the service but there is an opportunity to take a photo after the baptism around the font

Family and friends may take photos throughout, using a flash if you'd like them to



Water is used


Water is not used (this leaves the option open for baptism at a later date)


Booking several months ahead at 11am

A time can be found most weekends of your choice

If you would like to pursue investigating a Baptism, in the first instance, both parents need to attend a Sunday morning service to meet the church family and get a feel for what we are all about at South Bersted.  Please introduce yourself to the Vicar and then a meeting can be arranged to discuss things further and to arrange Baptism preparation for parents and godparents.  Only at that meeting can we confirm a possible date.

Alternatively, if you would like to choose a Thanksgiving, simply phone the vicar or contact him, and the date can be booked straight away with nothing else for you to do, and no expectation that you will be regularly attending church.

There are no fees for baptisms or thanksgivings, although donations are welcome.

“Just wanted to say how lovely the Thanksgiving Blessing was on Saturday, everyone really enjoyed it and could not stop talking about the puppet and magic, thank you again for it all.”