We love to welcome babies and children, and adults too, who live in the community of Manston, Cross Gates to be Baptised (also called a Christening) here at St James’ Church.

To see if you are in our Parish, please look at the parish boundary map or get in touch and ask us if you are not sure.

If you are not resident within the Parish there would need to be some other special connection with this church for your baptism to take place here, but we are happy to direct you to what is your Parish Church. This will be a Church which is more local to you and will mean that you can make and sustain a connection with them more easily.

Many of those who are baptized (or christened) are babies or young children. When a child is baptized we are thanking God for the miracle of life itself and for the particular gift of this child into your family and your life. We are also recognising this child as a child of God, welcoming her / him into the family of the church and marking the beginning of a life-time of growing into an understanding of God’s love for them.

At the service parents / guardians and godparents make promises to help their child/ren to grow in faith but the service also celebrates God’s promise to journey with your child, and with you, as you do so. At baptism your child is marked with the cross, cleansed and renewed by water, and given a lighted candle. Each of these symbols speaks to us of our faith in Jesus Christ and of how God is present and active in our lives.

In preparation for Baptism we ask families to come to one or more of our services which are specifically intended to be ‘family-friendly’ and at which we welcome those preparing for baptism and begin to get to know you – and you us! Our All Age Service (11.30am on the 1st Sunday of each month, a short act of worship, with a reading, songs and prayers).

After this, and nearer to your child’s actual Baptism you will be visited by a member of the Ministry Team, usually in your home, in preparation for the Baptism Service itself.

Baptisms usually take place on either the 4th Sunday of the month at 11.30am when they may be shared with another family, or we can also agree to have a Baptism in an already existing Service – like our Parish Eucharist, or 11.30am All Age Worship. We can discuss possible dates with you once we have met.

If having read this you feel that St James is the right church for you to explore having your child’s baptism service please do get in touch to begin the process.

Please call in at the Parish Office on a Friday or Saturday morning between 10am and 12 noon. Someone there will be able to answer your initial queries, give you a ‘Baptism Pack’ and some paperwork to fill in, and give you an idea of available dates.

Please also remember that children, teenagers or adults, of whatever age, can ask to explore Baptism and we will be happy to speak with you about it.