Faith Stories

Baptism in the Sea ...

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AFTER coming to faith in Jesus, Conway Loveridge wanted to make a very publication declaration of his faith.

So he chose to be baptised into the family of God in the waters of The Solent, just off the beach at Eastney.

It happened on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon last month when the beach was quite busy with people sunbathing, swimming in the sea and walking their dogs.

Worshippers from St Cuthbert’s Church and Conway’s friends and family gathered at the water’s edge and heard readings from the Bible and sang the hymns, ‘A new commandment’ and ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky’.

And Conway made special promises to follow Jesus and those present promised to walk alongside him in his journey of faith.

And then came the baptism itself – Conway, Richard Shurmer, parish Reader, and the Rev Canon David Power, vicar of St Cuthbert’s, waded into the sea for the baptism and the water was surprisingly warm.

The congregation then sang ‘One more step along the world I go’ before Conway was presented with a lit candle, a sign that, as a follower of Jesus, from now on he is to bring the light of Christ into the world.

Rev Canon Power said: “It was my joy and privilege to baptise Conway after he came to faith through the Christianity Explored course which we have started running at St Cuthbert’s this year.

“It’s a very relaxed course which gives people the time and space to explore the big questions in life and to think about who Jesus is and why it matters today.

“Conway enjoyed the course and found himself coming to a new faith in God, which now means a lot to him.

“It was such a relaxed, good humoured service with lots of spontaneous participation!

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a calmer sea and we finished with a barbecue on the beach and enjoyed each other’s company.

“In my 33 years of being a vicar, I have now baptised four people in the sea and they have all been such memorable events. I very much hope to repeat the experience again one day.”

Julie Minter