St Nicholas Southfleet

Thanksgiving for the gift of a child

The birth or adoption of a child is a cause for celebration. Many people are overcome by a sense of awe at the creation of new life and want to express their thanks to God. Many parents find this is the first time they are truly aware of the majesty and greatness of God and how it affects their lives. This service provides an opportunity for parents and families to give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and to pray for family life.

This is an ancient service which has its roots in the Bible as Jesus was brought to the Temple as a baby forty days after he was born, in accordance with customs of the time. In the past the service has been called “Dedication” or the “Churching of Women after Childbirth” To the present day we still believe that the birth or adoption of a child is a sufficiently important event in the family to mark it with a special service of Thanksgiving

If you find yourself wanting to bring your new baby to church for a special ceremony to mark their birth or adoption, whether or not you are a regular worshipper at your local church, then this is the service for you.

In this service you will bring your child to the church together with family and friends. You may also nominate special friends to stand with as you bring your child forward; these friends could indeed be future godparents or sponsors.

You will be asked if you recognise that your child is a gift from God, and whether you want to give thanks to God for your child. You will answer “We do” to both questions, and the minister will then pray for your child and then invite you to declare the name of the child, so he or she can be blessed by name. We will then pray for you and for your family.

This service will always precede the baptism of infants who cannot speak for themselves and is a necessary step towards baptism of children. The following options exist for parents after this service:

  • Wait until the child is old enough to speak for themselves and then encourage them to seek baptism themselves.
  • If you are a habitual worshipper, and living out the Christian lifestyle, then to proceed with baptism fairly soon.
  • Otherwise you can start the process of becoming an habitual worshipper and living the Christian lifestyle.

Planning for the Thanksgiving for your Baby

If you want to bring your baby to St Nicholas Church to give thanks, you need to arrange a meeting with the Rector. (Please contact the Rectory to do this)

At this meeting you will be able to decide, together with the Rector, on the date and time for the service. (Please see our Service Times for more information)

  • St Nicholas Church
  • Church Street
  • Southfleet
  • Kent
  • DA13 9NR

01474 833252
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