Ambushed by Baptism

So, just pondering how baptism is done in your church? We see now a lot of baptisms coming from people in the local community who are not part of the church/ regular attenders. How does your church handle it? If you have a few baptisms, then it probably doesn't bother you, but how does your congregation react to the (often) large baptism party that comes into your service? Have you changed anything about the service to make them feel more inclusive?

I would like to limit this to baptisms in a normal act of worship (Sundays). Thoughts please.

Comments

  • Our number of baptisms varies year by year, and can range from just a handful to 16 or so per annum.

    We currently offer people the option of having the baptism within our Sunday Eucharist at 1030am, or of having a separate service at 12 noon. One or two 'regular' church families, some of whom may be communicants, will go for the 1030am service, in which case the baptism takes place after the homily, in place of the Creed, and with shorter-than-usual intercessions.

    The 12 noon option is the one usually accepted, and it works quite well, as a number of our regulars stay behind for the baptism, in order to help welcome the family. The fact that the service takes place very soon after the Eucharist (with the incense still hanging in the air!) reinforces the fact that the baptism is not entirely a private function, but part of the 'normal' life of the church, IYSWIM.

    It can be a problem if the baptism party at the Eucharist outnumbers the regular congregation, which would not be unusual at Our Place, with a usual Sunday attendance of 25-30 on a good day! All very well if a good number of the baptism party are communicants, or come to the altar for a blessing, but with possibilities of awkwardness (let alone unseemly behaviour....). An invitation to come to the altar for Communion or a blessing is always given, however.

    The 12 noon service, OTOH, tends to be a relaxed, and fairly informal, time, and I can't recall any instances in the 10 years I've been Reader at Our Place when the service has not been well-received, or when it has been marred by bad behaviour. We are a small UPA parish, one of the most poor and deprived in the country.

    I realise that all this doesn't really answer the OP, though!

    IJ
  • We try to have baptisms on one Sunday per month. We've never had more than three candidates at once, and some months don't have any. The service changes a bit because of the baptism (Apostle's creed in interrogative form rather than Nicene, etc.) but is not "dumbed down" for visitors. We do print clear instructions for communion in the bulletins, and there's a bit more signposting than on a normal Sunday.

    I'd say usually about half the baptism guests go up to the altar at communion. I have no idea how many receive. I'm sure we've had more than 50% of the congregation be visitors at big baptisms, but there are always at least a significant minority of regulars.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate

    I realise that all this doesn't really answer the OP, though!

    IJ

    Nope not really! I just wondered how you view the baptisms, if they are not coming from your congregation. We also hold them after main services, and also on a Saturday, but that's not the point of this discussion.

    I want to know if you make any special changes for the service, if you know that they are not part of your regular congregation.

    Would you consider making any major changes to the liturgy so that they felt more inclusive/ help them to be more engaged (so you're not dealing with a church service that has a kind of split personality?) Do you see the baptisms as an opportunity to talk to them more about faith? Do you just "process" them and leave it at that?

    There is a big challenge (I think) of weaving a "community" based baptism into a worship service without a)upsetting your normal congregation and b)making it meaningful/ engaging the baptism party. I am wondering if anyone has done anything to help find the right pattern. I guess it would help that I am dealing mostly with protestant congregations.
  • Yes, I think it does depend on the proportions of regulars to visitors.

    We have had 12 noon baptism services with a congregation of 70+, which would have overwhelmed our usual 25 or so!

    Our next door parish (very much larger than ours) can have up to 90-100 baptisms each year, so they simply have to restrict the numbers of baptisms at their Sunday Eucharist, or they'd have one or two pretty well every week :open_mouth: .

    They offer, like us, the option of their 10am service, or a 'stand-alone' service (albeit sometimes with two or more families present) later in the day.

    IJ
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Several years ago, I came across a tract that was put out by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod entitled "Baptism is not magic" As I recall, the tract focused on the promises the parents and the sponsors make saying that they promise to bring the child up in the church. If they do not, the faith that is planted at Baptism will die away. It went on to say if you promise to bring the child to Jesus but prevent the child from coming, you are running the risk, as Jesus would say, of having a milestone put around your neck and being drowned in the depths of the sea.

    I think free and open baptisms without any commitment cheapens the sacrament, or as Bonhoeffer would say, it becomes cheap grace.

    In other words, if there is no commitment to walk the talk, why do it?

  • I would try to prepare the regulars with news that a baptism's coming up - ask them to remember them in prayer, welcome our visitors when they arrive, try to find seats etc. Use the bulletin sheet and notices. I'd make sure the stewards for that week are on the alert, as visitors can have a tendency of getting through the door without getting service sheets and hymn books etc.

    Our Anglican church uses the Baptism-within-Communion liturgy set for that occasion. So there are set elements which are included as a matter of course. Personal tweaks, I guess, would be up to the presiding minister or priest. I tend not to preach a normal sermon on such occasions; but use that time to scatter explanations of what's happening at each stage of the baptism, point out the significance of the font or other furniture, or parts of the liturgy etc. And we always point out where the loos are before the service begins.

    How people react of course is varied. Some are okay, some are welcoming and friendly, some are fairly indifferent. Pretty much what you'd expect in a broad-based collection of dissimilar individuals!
  • I’m guessing that most people weighing in here are speaking from a CofE context, where anyone living in the parish is entitled to present children for baptism?

    For us, the idea that people who are not members of the congregation will seek to have their children baptized is not at all common. The Session must approve all requests for baptism, and the expectation is that at least one of the parents is a member of the congregation. Exceptions can be made—typically this might be in cases such as a church near a military base—but there’s still an expectation that at least one of the parents is a church member somewhere, and that the Session will be in communication with that other church.

    So it really doesn’t happen that much for us that a bunch of people unfamiliar with things show up for a baptism.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    As Nick Tamen says, the position outside England (and perhaps Scotland) is very different. There's no obligation to marry, baptise or bury. So we really only get children/grandchildren of parishioners or former parishioners. Sponsors should be members of St Sanity's or some other congregation. The service itself is part of the regular 10 am Eucharist, using the liturgy in APBA for Baptism within Eucharist. Normal intercessions vanish and are replaced by the prayers for the one being baptised. The celebrant will give quite a bit of guidance where the next part of the service is to be found - page number in the Book, where the hymns are and so forth. The invitation to communion will include advice that a baptised member of any other church is welcome to come forward letting their own conscience being the guide.

    The number through the year is variable. We do get quite a few from the local Salvation Army as they neither baptise or offer the Eucharist, and they know that they are welcome.
  • The church I attend has very high numbers of baptisms and funerals from members of the community who do not attend regularly. It is one of our main outreach opportunities. There are members of the congregation (safeguard trained etc) who liaise with families at home beforehand and explain the service.
    As Bishops Finger describes above people wanting baptism have a choice of Baptismal service after the main service once a month or during the main service on rarer occasions.
    Yes, we are overwhelmed numerically sometimes by people who have no tradition of hymn singing and minimal awareness of the liturgy and noisy children.
    Nevertheless the thought of stopping this welcome actually appals me (mostly because Christ told his disciples not to stop the little children coming into him). Also it means our church has deep community links that lasts generations. Moreover, nobody goes away feeling the church does not want them/or feeling they and their children are not good enough for God.
    I know people may have a very different understanding of baptism but at least offer a dedication service if that is the objection. If it is that you don't like others piggybacking on your worship I'm afraid I do not think it is yours, but Gods and I think he would welcome the kids
  • Sorry to double post but I have just realised that my last paragraph sounds ungracious. I do know someone where the church refused to baptise her child and this left so much hurt and bitterness.
    I do realise that the OP is trying to find ways of integrating families better and thank them for their efforts. We do have a few colouring in bags and for the children and a small quiet play area at the back.this is announced at the start of the service
  • Yes, we have a similar area for family use, though it's not right at the back. Somehow, our huge barn of a church 'absorbs' noisy children rather well...and no-one seems particularly fazed if one or two get a bit squeaky, anyway.

    We, too, see requests for baptisms as pastoral opportunities, and AFAIK have never turned anyone away.

    Some families 'stick', in the sense of becoming regular-ish members of the congregation, others come just at Christmas, or for another baptism, but we do try to keep in touch with them. Others, of course, move away (our parish has a very transient population).

    IJ
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I think free and open baptisms without any commitment cheapens the sacrament, or as Bonhoeffer would say, it becomes cheap grace.

    In other words, if there is no commitment to walk the talk, why do it?

    So I don't really want to get side tracked into whether it is "right" to offer baptism to families who are not regular members - and I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion, that I don't agree with your view there - perhaps we can talk about that another day? However, "Why do families do it?" is a very interesting question. Something I am trying work out.

    1. Traditional church (Sunday am) doesn't do it for them. It doesn't fit with their lifestyle and it's not part of their family rhythm. (But we've all known that for a while, which is why fresh expressions/ alt worship/ messy church have come into being). However, they do feel a need to express what faith they have somehow, and it seems these big events of a child being born, getting married still hold some resonance/ connection with church and God. I have yet to meet a family who wants to have their child baptised but openly admits they don't believe in something.
    2. . They want to celebrate the birth and gather their family together. A baptism is a good way of doing this.
    3. When I've arranged to meet up pre or post baptism, most families have been quite keen - but we've done it socially, not necessarily to go to a church service again. (Mainly because of point one), so there is scope to talk about faith and develop the relationship.
    4. Who knows??? There is some kind of connection, which should be explored instead of us grinning and bearing it (and calling the families hypocrites).

    I am less interested in the pastoral work or hoop jumping that has to go on in certain churches. I am encouraged that some of you see this as a mission/ evangelistic opportunity, I agree!

    Is the extent though to your welcoming or accommodating within a service just to offer some colouring pages and then hope for the best? Have you ever tried to do things in the service which will draw in the 60+ (sometimes) people who are attached to the baptism. Have you looked at the liturgy and decided that it isn't cutting it? How far would you go to engage everyone on a Sunday morning?

  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    This is from a Church of England parish setting, where we have an obligation to baptize:
    No minister shall refuse or, save for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or guardians or godparents, delay to baptize any infant within his cure that is brought to the church to be baptized

    We've done some adjusting/accommodating in a limited way. Baptisms almost always take place in our main Sunday service. (Maybe 2 or 3 exceptions to that in nearly 20 years.) We try and 'space' them (if demand is that high) so that we don't have more than two baptism services in a month or two weeks in a row. We rarely get more than 12 baptisms a year.

    We do preparation with parents (and very occasionally godparents), so that they are aware of the promises that they will make and the responsibilities they are undertaking, and also some idea of how they, with support from the church, might begin to fulfil them.

    A while ago, the church council felt that many members of the baptismal parties were not really connecting with the continuation of the service into communion following the baptism. Also it was hard to keep the service within the sort of time limits that we felt worked. Accordingly baptism services are almost always non-eucharistic now.

    We have a service booklet for baptisms which uses the liturgy provided for baptism in the context of 'a Service of the Word'.

    We try and choose hymns which will 'work' for people who are not regular churchgoers - though this is very hard as many will have had no exposure to collective singing of anything regularly used in a church setting. Our Sunday club (for children) meets during the service as usual, and we make a real effort to ensure that visiting children are able to take part in that, and the children come back into the church for the actual baptism itself.

    I try and make sure that a Sunday is chosen when the set readings will not be inappropriate, and the sermon reflects the different overall character of the congregation, but we don't change the readings for a baptism.

    Some for whom weekly communion is important will come to the 8.00 service on Sundays when there is a baptism. A few who really struggle with the way some non-church people behave in church (or how they dress) will stay away on a Sunday.

    I always think we could do more, but the main thing in our community would be to provide something family friendly not on a Sunday morning, and not in the fairly difficult location of our church building.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Thanks Bro James. I do like you saying that "we could do more". I wonder, if you had carte blanche what would the service look like?
  • As I said earlier, if we do have a Baptism within the Eucharist, the immediate family (though not necessarily their friends and relations) are likely to be at least occasional attenders. It's been a while since we had such a service, but IIRC we made the following alterations:

    1. Short three-fold Kyrie confession
    2. No Gloria
    3. One reading, rather than OT + Psalm + NT
    4. Short hymn before the Gospel, rather than the usual acclamation
    5. Baptism after a (very) short homily
    6. Brief prayers, with special mention of the candidate and family

    Then it's back to the normal Liturgy of the Eucharist, using one of the two quite short new C of E Eucharistic Prayers.

    As BroJames says, hymns are hard to choose, but we keep them fairly traditional, on the basis that at least Great-Gran might know them!

    Again, IIRC, we produced a bespoke booklet (complete with hymns) so that the service was reasonably easy to follow.

    IJ
  • AnnieD wrote: »

    Is the extent though to your welcoming or accommodating within a service just to offer some colouring pages and then hope for the best? Have you ever tried to do things in the service which will draw in the 60+ (sometimes) people who are attached to the baptism. Have you looked at the liturgy and decided that it isn't cutting it? How far would you go to engage everyone on a Sunday morning?

    With regard to doing the service itself, I imagine that most church leaders do everything they can to engage everyone they can in every service they lead. Otherwise it could be argued they shouldn't be in the job! And I think the best thing a church can do is to be itself in the best way it can. After all, the parents for whatever reason, have chosen to be there, so they can hardly be astonished if what they get is the real flavour of what that church is about. When I choose to go to Macdonalds I don't complain about it not being a Michelin starred restaurant (or vice versa).

    Though it doesn't always follow that a church that's great in one respect which works well for baptisms is going to be the best church for attendance for everyone at the baptism. I used to go to a church which had fabulous baptism services. But what made it such a great place for baptisms often made it hell on earth for week by week spiritual nurture.

    However, some of us certainly need challenging to do more; provide better welcome, more interesting alternatives for youngsters unused to big public buildings with people doing strange things. Make sure that booklets, music used etc are easily useable by people unfamiliar with liturgy, ie, seeing the familiar with a new and critical eye. We should look at what we do which is intrinsically who we are as Christ's family in that place, with a view to how we can make it more appreciated by visitors experiencing it for that one-off event.

  • Our shack always baptizes in the context of Eucharist. We’re small, so normally have only one candidate at a time, and that may bring an extended family to the service. Or not. There is the discussion with the parents beforehand about this being the start of a relationship, not a one off event. Can’t say that always sticks. Our small congregation is warned, and usually goes out its way to welcome the candidate’s family, help them negotiate the space and service. And they always do a bang up festive reception. We quietly appoint parish volunteers to continue to hovering and helping so if the family/baptizand do really return they can be woven into the family. We don’t do much in terms of changing the service – we’re just us as we normally are.
  • Sadly when we have baptisms within the morning service, a lot of our congregation stays away
  • What a pity.

    Yes, I've heard that that has been known at one or two of our neighbouring churches, which is perhaps why they, too, field a 'stand-alone' service, if required, for 'non-regulars', IYSWIM.

    IJ

  • You've reminded me of the last baptismal party we had in our church from 'outside' on the estate. I heard a really snarky woman behind me moaning about the priest, the hymns, all sorts. I got quite fed up and eventually looked around... to see a 14-yr old boy whose voice had not yet broken, squished into a suit and looking really, really unhappy to be there. It all made a little more sense :)
  • What a pity.

    Yes, I've heard that that has been known at one or two of our neighbouring churches, which is perhaps why they, too, field a 'stand-alone' service, if required, for 'non-regulars', IYSWIM.

    IJ

    Though in one way it is the congregations issue if they want to stay away. Last month the congregation were taken by surprise by the baptism service so they were actually there for the service and to their amazement found it not too bad after all
  • LinnetLinnet Shipmate
    I know of a church where baptism during a Sunday service is no longer offered, because the clergy felt it was disruptive to the regular congregation and their worship. I have no idea what was behind this, but it struck me as extreme.
  • Linnet wrote: »
    I know of a church where baptism during a Sunday service is no longer offered, because the clergy felt it was disruptive to the regular congregation and their worship. I have no idea what was behind this, but it struck me as extreme.

    In these days of multiple churches and clergy running from one service to another on a Sunday, it is not always possible to offer alternatives to the main service
  • Yes, that's true, but OTOH, if you have a parish with numerous baptisms each month, say, a balance has to be struck somewhere.

    That's more likely, I guess, to be in an urban or suburban setting. For a tiny village congregation, perhaps with only one Sunday per month, the occasional baptism could be an invigorating blessing!

    IJ
  • BasilicaBasilica Shipmate
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    Linnet wrote: »
    I know of a church where baptism during a Sunday service is no longer offered, because the clergy felt it was disruptive to the regular congregation and their worship. I have no idea what was behind this, but it struck me as extreme.

    In these days of multiple churches and clergy running from one service to another on a Sunday, it is not always possible to offer alternatives to the main service

    The obvious answer is "Saturdays".
  • Basilica wrote: »
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    Linnet wrote: »
    I know of a church where baptism during a Sunday service is no longer offered, because the clergy felt it was disruptive to the regular congregation and their worship. I have no idea what was behind this, but it struck me as extreme.

    In these days of multiple churches and clergy running from one service to another on a Sunday, it is not always possible to offer alternatives to the main service

    The obvious answer is "Saturdays".

    Not really. For many clergy with families would like to have as many Saturdays as possible as their day off in the week. After all it is the one opportunity during the school time to spend a whole day with the family. Plus the clerical lifestyle is one where the immediate often triumphs over the important but routine and as a result of many also are writing sermons on Saturday. So having Baptisms on a Saturday would just make further inroads into what little family time they have. Of course, you could argue clergy family life is not as important as Baptism but then so many single events in clergy life fall into that category that eventually their families see very little of them.

    Jengie
  • Point taken, but we have occasionally held baptisms on a Saturday, after our usual 930am Eucharist, when pastorally necessary.

    IJ
  • BasilicaBasilica Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Basilica wrote: »
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    Linnet wrote: »
    I know of a church where baptism during a Sunday service is no longer offered, because the clergy felt it was disruptive to the regular congregation and their worship. I have no idea what was behind this, but it struck me as extreme.

    In these days of multiple churches and clergy running from one service to another on a Sunday, it is not always possible to offer alternatives to the main service

    The obvious answer is "Saturdays".

    Not really. For many clergy with families would like to have as many Saturdays as possible as their day off in the week. After all it is the one opportunity during the school time to spend a whole day with the family. Plus the clerical lifestyle is one where the immediate often triumphs over the important but routine and as a result of many also are writing sermons on Saturday. So having Baptisms on a Saturday would just make further inroads into what little family time they have. Of course, you could argue clergy family life is not as important as Baptism but then so many single events in clergy life fall into that category that eventually their families see very little of them.

    In my experience baptisms are one of the Saturday events that are less intrusive into the day.

    As a parish priest I have no idea how other parochial clergy manage to keep Saturday as a day off.

  • Depends on how many weddings you get, I suppose!
    :grimace:

    IJ
  • I know clergy whose day off is Saturday, and it’s true that they can’t keep it every week and sometimes the day off has to shift to another day, for reasons such as others have said, weddings, fetes etc.
    But they resist having too many avoidable extras on a Saturday, as then they would not have any family time at all.
    For if children and spouses are off Saturday and Sunday and if clergy parent has a heavy Sunday and does too much on a Saturday then when do they see their family? Life is tough enough on clergy families as it is.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    I think that you have more flexibility to do something on a Saturday. There is less time pressure, and we've developed a service which involves the families much more in the planning and the actual service. There is less "doing something to them" and more of "meeting them where they are" and then gently leading them onwards. (ongoing part of what we're doing).

    You seem to be echoing a lot of what I am finding in churches, as we try to explore baptism for community deeper. (It's my job) - Congregations feeling a bit used, families not joining the church after baptism, the uncomfortableness of the wider family involved. I appreciate Bishops Finger you probably don't experience this so much, but there seems to be a lot of the same out there.

    Thanks for all your comments so far - would seem that many churches are not doing anything earth shatteringly different from what we've always done. In the context of our circuit, we are the same. (Or have been) Now we are trying to respond much more to the families needs in baptism services and helping our congregations to cope better. (Though that's a really hard one - we have a long way to go).

    So, do you want me to describe what we've done here? Would be interested to get some feedback. It's a bit Morcame and Wise - all the right elements, but not necessarily in the right order! I will post in a bit more detail if you would like to know.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Also, I'll pose the question. Knowing what baptism might mean to a lot of families (and it's probably not what we think), if you had a blank piece of paper, what would you do? (To make it relevant and effective), or would you leave it as it is.
  • AnnieD, by all means feel free to describe what you do at Your Place!

    BTW, FWIW, we have a monthly 'Youth Club' (ages 7-12) at Our Place which includes a short (10-15 minutes) time of worship at the beginning of the session (530pm - 730pm on one Saturday per month).

    It's working quite well, though at the moment it's not involving the parents/carers that much....

    IJ
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Will do! Suspect that the parents and carers are glad to have the break from the children! You've given them just about enough time to get a meal out by themselves.
  • Yes, we'd already realised that! I'd still like to involve the adults for the 10-15 minute 'Family Service' (IYSWIM), but that's something to work on later this year.

    IJ
  • My children were baptised at Evensong: service was as usual up to the Creed, then shortened baptism service (1662), followed by anthem, short sermon, intercessions, final hymn.
  • Was that by any chance an afternoon Evensong?

    Round about 3pm-330pm used to be a popular time for Baptisms, so, if such a mid-afternoon service was the norm, it made sense to incorporate the christening(s).

    IJ
  • Our largest category of baptisms involve parents who are not regular attenders, but one of the grandmothers is. We usually have about 100 at a service, and a baptism adds about another 30, so we don't get "swamped" but the church is noticeably fuller. There are occasionally issues with people unfamiliar with a church service applauding the choir, but that isn't an issue. In fact, regular congregants would tend to join in, rather than have the baptismal guests feeling awkward.

    We don't have weekly Communion, and we wouldn't have a baptism on the same day as a Communion. Our experience when we tried it was that people felt flummoxed, they didn't know what the "rules" were, whispered explanations slowed everything down, it didn't work. The final straw re Communion was when one guest at a baptism took the wine, and did a comedy stagger, only for his friend to take two (we use wee cuppies), one in each hand and do a "down in one" thing. Both their wives were clearly embarrassed, regular members were offended. (They were behind the actual baptismal party, who were spared the embarrassment of realising they had invited idiots to their child's baptism). We have kept baptisms and Communion separate since, feeling that it is really not fair to throw people in at the deep end of unfamiliar church practice. (Also, even within the Church of Scotland practice varies regarding children taking Communion, so a regular attender elsewhere might be unsure.)

    When our son was baptised, we were members of a church which had a large number of baptisms, and usually grouped them into three baptisms during the same service. Our minister wanted our son to be the only baptism that day because we were regular members, and very involved (I was one of the Guide leaders, we were both on the Congregational Board) as he thought we might receive cards etc from the congregation afterwards. He said that past experience had taught him that it was awkward if the congregation made a fuss round a baptismal party they knew, and the other baptismal parties were left wondering why there were no cards / gifts for them.

  • I'm interested in North East Quine's experience. In the Scottish Episcopal Church we're more or less directed to have baptisms within the main Sunday morning service which, in our case is nearly always a Eucharist. Pastoral considerations do permit variations, but only if they're urgent enough. It's noticeable that very few of the visitors come forward to receive communion. But then that was the case in the CofE parishes I've worked in, too. I think, myself, there can be problems with combining the 'normal' Eucharist including regulars, with a baptism populated by a large number of visitors, probably unfamiliar with church. So much going on, a split focus, sacramentally with a very mixed crowd in attendance. It even sounds messy.

    However, the results can often be more positive than we think. I guess, I'd just want to repeat that the best way to initiate a new member/family into your church fellowship is just to do what you normally do, the best way you can.

  • Our "normal" Sunday morning service doesn't include Communion, and we currently restrict baptisms to within this "normal" Sunday morning service. My church has Communion once a month, so we have a ratio of three or four non-Communion Sundays to one Communion Sunday. Some Church of Scotland congregations have it less frequently. As a result, not only is Communion unfamiliar to non-attenders, but may be unfamiliar to those who grew up going to Sunday School, but fell away once they became teens / adults.

    We don't come forward, but the bread and wine is passed along the pews. Therefore any visitor will be handed a basket of bread with the words "The Body of Christ, broken for you" followed by being handed a tray of "wee cuppies" with the words "The Blood of Christ, shed for you"

    I do sympathise with anyone who is baffled; whilst visiting friends in England we went to their C of E church, only for my small daughter to ask, audibly, why they were using poppodums instead of bread.
  • My daughter was baptised at the regular Wednesday morning Eucharist at the nearest piskie church, which in our case is the Cathedral. That was ok with the provost as one of the godparents was a Church of Scotland minister and one of the grandparents a CofE priest so getting them both to a Sunday service several hours from home was likely to be a non-starter. We might have outnumbered the regular congregation but most of us knew what we were doing.
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