Baptisms in the River Itchen Sunday 23rd August and 30th August 2020
Over two weekends two families brought their children to be baptised in the River Itchen.
On 23rd August the Greig family brought their daughter India to be baptised. It was a wonderful opportunity for James Greig’s father Michael Greig who is ordained to baptise his granddaughter while her elder sister watched on in very natty pink waders!
On 30th August Around 30 family and friends came together, carefully socially distanced, around a carrier for the River Itchen on Sunday morning after Parish Communion for the baptism of three grand children from the Janssen family. After torrential rain two days before (in which many houses were on the verge of flooding), it was the most spectacular day. Three children were being baptised either being held or in a wet suit with parents and god parents in waders.
Revd Alex Pease led the service and the reading was from Matthew 3:13-17 (see below). Alex spoke about the responsibilities that parents take on for the intellectual and physical development of children but seldom do they appreciate the importance of their spiritual development also. Spiritual development addresses such questions as meaning and purpose which could not be more important now in a world where businesses and loved ones can be lost over night. Alex explained that baptism was lighting the pilot light of the Holy Spirit, a light of relationship with Jesus Christ, in the three children which if protected by parents and god parents will one day flare up like a gas boiler and enable these new Christians to transform the world. Alex asked the parents and god parents to bring the children to the Bishop for the confirmation when they can take responsibility for their own relationship with Christ.
Many thanks to Andy and Clare Davies and Ed Marsh and his syndicate who between them own the land and the river; to David Swinstead and Sara Mason who put together the risk assessment; to Simon Ffennell who acted as long stop and to Camilla Janssen who acted as first aider.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 3:13–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.