There are few more joyful things to do in this world than a baptism service. Yesterday I got to baptise someone called Theodore, which of course means Gift of God. He rather enjoyed proceedings and I’ve seldom held a child more keen to jump right into the font.

People sometimes comment on how much babies seem to enjoy being baptised at St Mary’s. Some older folk sometimes say, “I thought they were supposed to cry….” to which I reply, “…and I think it is nicer if they don’t”.

Sometimes people even come out with that old medieval nonsense that the cry of a baby at a baptism is the devil coming out. Here’s your theology starter for 10: the devil ain’t in there in the first place.

If you want to make a baby cry at a baptism, here are the instructions:

  • hold them upside down
  • hold them so they can’t see anyone they know
  • use cold water
  • flick the water in their face with a large, hard shell
  • hold them as though you are frightened you are going to drop them.


  • hold them so they can see what’s going on – sitting on the side of the font is a good start
  • surround them with a sea of happy smiling faces
  • warm up the water
  • talk to them and mean what you say
  • keep parents in sight and free from anxiety themselves
  • lots of splashes


There are few things more fun in church than baptisms. We had two this morning. With the permission of the parents of the two newly baptised, I recorded that part of the service as I thought that folk might be interested in seeing how it is done here.

The baptism stands in place of the sermon, so I’ve put it on the church preaching page as well. The ministry of the Word this morning was a combination of Bible readings and baptism during the service and presentations after the service on the theme of water, in connection with the Wells for India project that we support and an initiative involving young people the eco-congregation project.

The camera was placed quite near the front of the faithful. There were about 200 people crowding round the font.

If you look very closely at the video, you can see me kissing babies. Is it any wonder I was drawn to politics?