The difference a christening can make

Published: January 12, 2018

This year The Baptism of Christ slipped very quietly into the waters of the river Jordan, overshadowed by exotic wise men and their curious, but symbolic gifts.

It’s not so unusual for baptisms to slip by unnoticed by the wider church. Often they take place outside of our regular worship and congregations have little contact with families who come to celebrate and give thanks for their child in this beautiful and time honoured way.

Thirty years ago we asked our local church to christen our child. We were welcomed with other families to a preparation group and then to a christening service. We never set foot in that church again.

No one in that church knew the full significance of that service to us, they didn’t know about Jenny, our first baby, who didn’t make it to full term, or about the medical issues which this baby was about to face. We didn’t have theological language to express that through this christening we were saying goodbye to one child, whilst giving heartfelt thanks for the one we now held.

No one in that church knows the significant part they played in our journey with God which would lead to me being ordained and our daughter taking a full and active part in her local church.

‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.’ 1 Cor 3:6

As a part of our diocesan LIFE vision we are all being invited not to let christenings slip by quietly, but to use our imaginations to ‘engage with baptism families to spark and amazing adventure with Jesus Christ’

By The Reverend Jo Wetherall, Children and Families Officer

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