Parish Church of St Leonard's
    
       Penwortham

 

 

 
 
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St Leonard’s Parish Church

Sunday Services

 

8.30am  Holy Communion

A service with no hymns or music which lasts about 40minutes

10.00am  Holy Communion

A service with hymns & music, lasting about 1hour. You are invited to stay for coffee & tea after the service.

Family Service

2nd Sunday in the Month 10.00am.

No Holy Communion. A relaxed & child friendly service.

Uniformed organisations take part on some months.

1st Sunday in the month - Choral Evensong 6pm

Traditional service from the Book of Common Prayer with hymns & music.

 

Mid-Week Services

 

Wednesday 10.00am –Holy Communion

A said service with no hymns or music

1st Saturday of most months – Messy Church. Check the What’s On page for the dates

10-12 noon in the church hall.  Craft activities, games & food. Very informal & family friendly!

 

 

 

We are all different and at St Leonard's we reflect this by offering a variety of Services in different worship styles
 and formats. Vestments are used and the Sacrament is reserved and we are open to explore and expand our faith.
 We hold meditation and study services - mainly during
 Advent and Lent.

 

Most meetings have been in the evening starting at 7.30pm
 and last approx 1½ hours. Given the groups' autonomy, other arrangements can be made to suit the group members.

The Services and groups are not static; new ideas are
 being explored and integrated into our joint search to know more about Jesus and what it means to be a
Christian in the 21st century. One thing we can
guarantee is a stimulating experience.

 

 

 

Special Services

Our collective worship is an important part
of our spiritual life but there are other opportunities for fellowship at St Leonard's.
During Lent and Advent special mid week services are provided. They include a variety of types from Eucharistic services to silent or led meditations.
There are some open Bible studies, discussion and prayer meetings or healing services.

In addition some special services are held on certain
Sundays and weekdays - see Whats's On page for details.

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage Services

Please contact the Vicar or the Associate Priest to discuss arrangements for these Services or reading of Banns.

 

 

 

 

 

Baptisms

We recognize the sacrament of
Baptism for children or adults.

We believe that Baptism marks the start of a journey
 of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness
 of self-centredness, turning towards Christ and becoming
 a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

Baptism is a 'sacrament' i.e. a visible sign of God's love.
In Baptism, we are thanking God for his gift of life
 and publicly acknowledging his love.
 We are declaring that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.

In child Baptism we expect the parents and Godparents
 to take on promises for the early Christian life of the child.
We therefore expect Godparents to be Baptised
 and Confirmed members of the Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baptism Services

The first part of the Baptism takes place normally
 at 11.30am after the morning Services.
 Normally Baptisms are confined to single family
 gatherings to make the service more special in that context. When more than one Baptism is requested on the same day, the second will commence at 12.15pm. Other times should be discussed with the Vicar or Associate Priest.

The Church's 'welcome'
(the gift of the candle and presentation of a certificate which form other parts of the Baptism service)
take place during the next Family Service following the Baptism itself. See What's On for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help on the Journey of Faith

We all come to times in our faith and life when we need a little help with what’s going on in our lives. It is helpful to have someone to be with us at those times. If you are struggling with where you are with your faith and your life journey, then a listening ear might be of help. We could set a time to be together on a one to one basis to listen, pray or talk. Father Nick and Reverend Sharon are happy to arrange a time - please just contact us to arrange it. Our details are on the Home Page of the website.

 

 

 

Funeral Services

Please contact the Vicar or the  Associate Priest to discuss arrangements for these Services.

 


How to arrange a Baptism

Being christened is a very important step in our journey of
faith whether it’s for a child or an adult. At St. Leonard’s Church we hold our christenings on Sundays at 11.30 am. If you would like to know more please follow the link to a booklet for parents about christenings, and a booklet to help you understand about the role of Godparents. If you would like to arrange a christening please contact either Rev’d Nick Mansfield or Rev’d Sharon Baines (details on the home page of the website) or come to church on a Sunday to have a chat with one of us.

 

 

 

Christening Information

For Parents

What is a Christening or Baptism?

When you have your child christened or baptised, you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life, ‘walking’ with your child on the journey of faith.

For your child, the christening marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centredness, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

Christening is a 'sacrament': a visible sign of God's love when we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledging his love. We are acknowledging that we all need to turn away from the darkness of evil and to make a new start with God.

Shouldn't our children make their own decisions?

Some people worry that they are imposing views on their children; but from the moment they are born, you make choices on their behalf. You don't wait until they are old enough to ask for milk before you feed them, and in the same way it is right to give them spiritual nourishment and teach them about the love of God from an early age. Christening is ‘part 1’ of their journey with Confirmation as ‘part 2’ as you provide your child with a Christian upbringing and give them the opportunity to decide.

If you want to talk over any doubts and concerns you have with your parish priest please don’t hesitate to contact us. You will also be able to discuss any issues with the members of the visiting team that you meet. All of us will be happy to help.

Making decisions and promises

When you bring your child for their christening, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus.

This is an important step and should not be taken lightly. The christening is not simply getting the child "done" because the family say so, and you should explore your own belief before making a commitment for your child, because these declarations and promises are made before God.

You will be asked to answer, on your child's behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and to turn instead towards Christ.

Thanksgiving

If you feel that making such a commitment is difficult you may wish to ask your parish priest about having a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. In this service, you thank God for the gift of your child and the child will be blessed. You do not make the same promises as in the christening service.

If you choose to have a Thanksgiving service it doesn’t stop you having a christening service for your child at a later date.

What happens in the Christening Service?

 

Your child's christening will normally take place at a Sunday service at 11.30 am. The christening is carried out with your family and friends present. There will be prayers, a reading from the Bible, a short talk by the priest, a blessing with oil and the christening with water.

For the christening itself, you and the godparents will be asked by the priest to gather around the font (the font is a large basin containing the water for christening).

The priest will ask you and the godparents to make declarations on behalf of the child (see the section 'Making decisions and promises'). But as there are few members of the church there, we will arrange for you to come back about a month later for a welcome by the church community.

The Welcome.

The welcome usually takes place in the Family Service on the second Sunday of the month following the christening. At that service you and your child will be welcomed by the congregation and given your child’s Baptism Certificate and a lighted candle. The large Easter Candle will be lit in the church as a reminder of the light of Jesus which has come into your child’s life.

It is up to you, the child’s godparents and the church community to help your child follow a way of life that reflects Jesus’ goodness and light, and to share this with others. You might like to bring out and light the candle on special occasions such as the christening of another child or a birthday to remember the importance of the christening.

Important symbols

A number of important symbols will be used during the service itself:

The sign of the cross using oil.

The priest will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him. The priest will use oil that has been blessed by the Bishop which is a sign of royalty. All christened people are members of the ‘Royal Priesthood of Christ’

The priest says: 'Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross. Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.'

Water.

The priest will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of spiritual washing and cleansing. It is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.

Water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are christened our old life is left behind and we are raised to new life with Christ.

Candles.

These are used to remind us of the

Light of Christ in our lives.

When did christenings start?

 

Jesus was christened in the river Jordan. This was a turning point in his life (you can read the story in the Bible: at the beginning of St. Mark's Gospel in the New Testament). Jesus told his followers to christen others as a sign that they had turned away from their old life, and begun a new life as Christ's disciples.

Christenings often took place in a river: new Christians were pushed under the water, marking their death to an old way of life, and lifted up again as a sign of new birth. Some churches still follow the practice of full immersion in water today.

Who can be christened?

In the Anglican Church there is no age requirement for a person to be christened. Mostly it’s infants who are christened, but it can happen at any age and many adults ask to be christened too. Christenings used to take place on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Day. People were prepared for christening by being taught the basics of the Christian faith. They were reminded of the Good Friday story of the Crucifixion. They repented of their sins, in other words, said sorry for the things that they had done which moved them away from God and neighbour, and were reassured of God forgiveness by being christened. By being christened, they were received into the Church with all the joy of the Resurrection.

What does it Cost?

We are asked this question a lot.

The answer is that there is no charge or fee for a christening. Being christened speaks to us of God’s love given freely, which cannot be bought or earned. God’s love is shown above all by his gift of his Son who died on the cross for the life of the world. His love is so great that he sent Jesus into the world to share in the best and the worst of human life. This is something that we can’t make a charge for!

And it’s also something not to take lightly. The ‘cost’ of a christening is keeping your promises in teaching and bringing up your child in the Christian Faith. Bringing a child to be christened is a sign that you want them to enter upon a life-long journey of faith. That means readiness to learn, a desire to worship, and a willingness to pray. The journey of faith can be hard work.

What Next?

You should be comfortable about what you want to do. If you don't already attend church, come along to one of our regular services. We have a ‘said’ communion service at 8.30am and a sung communion service at 10am most Sundays; the exception being on the second Sunday of the month when we have our Family Service at 10am. We also have Messy Church on the first Saturday of most months 10am-12noon. Please check the website or look out for the notice board outside church for specific dates. You are very welcome to any of our services.

Get in touch with us to talk about a christening - or other ways of celebrating the birth of a child. Or you may want to think about christening or confirmation for yourself. It's not just something for children...

Committed members of our church are regular in their giving to support the church and its work - without committed financial giving we would not be here. We can let you know how to join in effective regular giving with our stewardship envelopes or by Banker’s Order. For a one-off gift as a sign of thankfulness, you might like to think of how much you would pay for the call-out charge of someone providing a household service. If you are a tax payer and sign a gift aid envelope we can claim some funds from the tax man. We are not selling anything - and no one should feel there is a prescribed amount to pay.

May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church, pour upon you the riches of his grace, that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory. Amen

Vicar: Rev’d. Nick Mansfield – 01772 742367

Associate  Priest: Rev’d. Sharon Baines – 01772 641521

 

 

Being a Godparent

 

Godparents are very important people and no doubt you were thrilled to be asked to be one.

Being asked to be a godparent is a great honour, privilege and responsibility. The decision to accept should be thought through seriously.

It means that your friends or relations trust you to help them bring up their child in the Christian Faith. The role of a godparent is an important one, and the purpose of this leaflet is to help you understand what is involved.

Who can be a Godparent?

Normally godparents are family or close friends of the child's parents. Traditionally the Church has required at least three godparents, at least two of whom are of the same sex as the child, and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents can also be godparents provided the child has at least one other godparent, but this rarely happens.

One requirement people often overlook is that godparents must themselves have been baptised; and they should normally be confirmed members of the Church (the priest may dispense with the requirement that the godparents should be confirmed)

Do Godparents have to be practising Christians?

Ideally the godparent needs to understand their own spiritual journey as they support the child in their journey of faith. Christening isn’t just something that’s ‘done because it always has been’. It is an important stage in the child’s life as you and the parents commit his or her life to Jesus.

There is a very special role to play as a godparent apart from promoting Christian faith, and that is to show the child how to live life. It is also very special to have an adult friend to talk to about all sorts of things you might rather not tell your parents!

Who would not feel proud and honoured to be asked to be a godparent? This sense of pride and responsibility can develop into a special bond between adult and godchild. In fact this relationship can be so wonderful

and unique that it should be freely available for anyone who has the genuine best interests of someone else's child close to their heart.

So what do I have to say in the service?

During the Christening, the minister asks the parents and godparents:

Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? Response: With the help of God, we will.

Will you care for them and help them take their place within the life and worship of Christ's Church?

Response: With the help of God, we will.

Later, parents and godparents are then asked these six questions:

Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God? Response: I reject them.

Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?

Response: I renounce them.

Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour? Response: I repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

Response: I turn to Christ.

Do you submit to Christ as Lord?

Response: I submit to Christ.

Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?

Response: I come to Christ.

Reading all this, it's clear that becoming a godparent is a big responsibility, at least if you want to take your promises seriously. That's why it's important that you consider carefully the declarations and promises you are going to be asked to make before the day of the christening service.

 

You may wish to have the sign of the cross made on your forehead, just as your godchild will have the sign of the cross made on their forehead with oil which has been blessed in the cathedral. The sign of the cross shows that your Godchild is now part of Christ’s family, a family to which you already belong.

Jesus Baptised in

The River Jordan,

Receives the Holy Spirit

After the service:

This is when the godparent's role really begins, and not just in the sense of sending presents at birthdays and Christmas! Ideally, as godparents you will:

 Go on praying for your godchild.

 Keep in touch with them and their family; in time this contact can be by a card, e-mail, text, etc.

 It's a good idea if godparents give a present or a card at the christening anniversary: in time this will help your godchild understand why their christening was a significant point in their life.

 Lead them by your example towards a Christian way of life.

 Continue to support and encourage them until they can make their christening promises for themselves at confirmation.

 All this will also make it more likely that your godchild, as they get older, may want to talk to you about important things in their lives, including their faith.

Some questions often asked by potential godparents

Q. Does being a godparent involve being a legal guardian as well? A. No. The roles are separate.

Q. I am not sure I'm up to this. How do I know if I have enough faith to keep these promises?

A. Jesus told his disciples that they'd do great things if they had faith "the size of a mustard seed". What matters isn't the extent of our faith: it's that our faith is in a great and loving God.

Q. What should I do if I've not thought much about faith or haven't been to church regularly?

A. Becoming a godparent is an ideal opportunity to discover more about Christian faith for you. Our churches offer courses in spirituality and faith, please ask the Vicar for more information. It is an option for those who are not confirmed to apply for training and be confirmed by the Bishop at a confirmation Service.

Q. It feels like a big responsibility being a Godparent.

A. That’s true and you should think carefully about the declarations and promises that you are about to make on behalf of the child. It is important for you to think about whether you can fulfil the commitment you are making. You will find that the church will support you and share the task with you.

There are many different ways of carrying out your duties as godparent, but one of the most important things to do is to build a relationship with your godchild.

You may already know a child well before you are asked to be a godparent, but if not; try to make a start before the Christening takes place.

Make time to see your godchild as regularly as you can. Try to give him or her one-to-one attention: find out what makes them tick, what makes them happy or sad.

Christening anniversaries are a good occasion for you to get together and think again about what the christening was all about.

Most adults find it hard to really get to know a baby, but as your Godchild grows up it will become easier, so keep on making the effort.

Your Godchild's confirmation is a very important opportunity for you to make yourself available - not just at the ceremony, but in the lead up to it. Get involved in the thought process that leads up to it. Talk it through.

Don't think that confirmation is the end of your Godparent’s responsibilities. It can be the beginning of the time they need you most. That delightful little angel may be developing into a surly teenager - Chances are that this is when they most need to be able to talk to an adult who is not one of their parents.

Thereafter a godparent can continue to provide a role model and influence in career and relationship matters, as well as matters more spiritual, for many years to come.

The more you put in to being a godparent, the more you and your Godchild will get out.

What should we give our Godchild?

The most important gifts you can give your godchild are your prayers, your love and your support. If, like most godparents, you want to mark the baptism with a gift, the ideal present is something that your godchild will appreciate and use more as she or he grows up. Here are a few ideas:

 A Bible: some editions are specifically designed for children, with pictures and simple language; others with a more adult layout, and will come into their own later.

 A Book of Bible stories: there are some very attractive, well-illustrated books of Bible stories suitable for younger children.

 A Book of Prayers.

 A small wooden cross or a gold or silver cross on a chain; or perhaps a candleholder to fit your godchild's christening candle.

 A Nativity Set: a good annual reminder of the heart of the Christmas story.

You may wish to send a small gift or card on the anniversary of your godchild’s christening and support them with cards and letters as they grow in their Christian life.

We hope you will enjoy being a godparent and will have a rewarding and fruitful relationship with your godchild. The church family is also here to support you, and regular church attendance will help you access this support. Please do not hesitate to contact your Vicar if you have any questions or need help.

A prayer for your Godchild

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of (name) and for all the joy he/she brings us. Be with him/her on his/her Christian journey, that he/she may come to know Jesus as his/her Lord and Saviour, brother and friend. Amen

 

Church Directory

Vicar: The Reverend Nick Mansfield 01772 742367

Associate Priest: The Reverend Sharon Baines 01772 641521