Alison Dare is a Salvation Army minister from Blaydon in Tyne and Wear (north-east England). Recently she sent us the following Messy baptism story that is so encouraging:
‘The baptism came about with a mother asking if we could ‘touch’ her boys as she wanted them to belong to the church. Her partner’s family (the boy’s dad’s family) are Roman Catholic but Clare was concerned that the children wouldn’t sit still in church and that they would be made to feel awkward. She asked if they could be baptised at Messy Church because that’s their Christian church!
‘We don’t baptise in The Salvation Army but we are very fortunate to have an ordained CofE minister who is one of the governors at the school where we hold Messy Church. She helps me run a lunch time Christian club in the school, so the children and families know her well. She agreed (with the permission of the local church) to perform the actual baptism and I did the blessing. We did this as part of our normal Messy Church in the celebration and Joan was very careful to word the baptism so that the boys were belonging to the Christian Church and not to any particular denomination. A lot of the family and their friends joined us at Messy Church that day to be part of the celebration.
‘It was a milestone day for us as we welcomed those boys into the kingdom and I was humbled by the acceptance by our stalwart Salvationists who recognised that this outward symbol was very important to the family as they became members of the Christian Church.’