Baptism Welcome !

baptism genSometimes it is easy to forget that when we Baptise anyone we are welcoming them into our Church Family. On 16 June 2019, at St. John's Church, we did just that. A young Portuguese family live near to the church and some weeks ago they came to a service there and afterwards they asked if their new son could be Baptised in the church. After talks and visits, surmounting the language barrier and getting to know them, the Baptism of William Ulisses Marques Solipa was duly arranged.

From our visits, we really expected just a small gathering of family as their relatives seemed scattered to various parts of the UK. However, and to our joyful surprise, a much larger group of the family arrived, complete with the most splendiferous cake for all to enjoy with our tea or coffee. Within minutes the church was full of happily mingling English and Portuguese voices as the welcoming tea, coffee and cake was consumed.

The Family had chosen two hymns as part of the Service - a Family Eucharist - and they all took part, many of their youngish children already being full communicants of the Church. A young member of the congregation presented William with the Baptismal Candle whilst William's older sister presented him with a Candle which the family had obtained especially from Portugal. The Churchwarden also presented William with a Bible which had been bought by the congregation of St. John's. During the final hymn, the Candle bearers led William and his immediate family through the congregation to the back of the Church.

Our Tea and Coffee Team of the day volunteered to make coffee again at the end of the Service as the beautiful, and very large, cake, had not been half consumed. Again the whole Baptismal Family stayed to share in the Fellowship.

It was an occasion of total joy and love so that at the end everyone left feeling positive and happy. Despite the fact that I had started the day feeling tired and the fact that we were in church for almost three hours in total, I left feeling so happy and full of the love and joy of Our Lord. I just want to say a public ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped to make it such a wonderful occasion.

June Lane