Holne Church welcomes Vera and Peter !

Vera and Peter

There hasn’t been a baptism at Holne for quite a long time, something that became apparent when nobody could find the plug for the font ! Around 60 people including many children gathered in the church on Sunday 19th November for a family service. But this one had an exciting difference, it was the moment that Vera and Peter were claimed by Jesus as his own and they were welcomed into the fellowship of faith with those present at the service, everyone promising to support the two children by prayer, example and teaching.

The service opened with the Hymn Morning has broken , one of the hymns chosen by the children’s Mum and Dad and, as Geoffrey Fenton who took the service commented, the weather matched the words of the hymn Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven. The reading for the service was Mathew 25 v.14-30 , the story of three slaves who were entrusted by their master with something precious and how they reacted. Geoffrey illustrated the reading by setting up a vegetable trading stall at the front of the church and then enlisting the help of three children – he wanted a good slave, an ok slave and a bad slave . There were plenty offers for all roles, especially the bad character !

Each slave was given some money to buy stock from Geoffrey, the market wholesaler. And then trading started. Members of the congregation were given ‘gold’ coins and for a short period the church was similar to a street market, with vegetable and fruit purchases coming thick and fast !

And then it was time to do the sums. The Good and the OK slaves had made a profit and they both got a round of applause but the poor old bad guy got a bit of ticking off and he admitted this had made him feel really uncomfortable because he’d boycotted the trading opportunity and, as a result, had made nothing at all.

And what was the point of the story ? – that God gives us all gifts and he expects us to use them. Even if we appear less gifted than some of our friends we shouldn’t hide ourselves away and not offer friendship, care, and compassion to the people we meet.

The service included some magnificent hymns including Praise my soul, the King of Heaven which sums up the Christian Gospel in the line Ransomed, healed, restored forgiven and Thine be the Glory which reminds us that our acceptance of Jesus means His victory over death is a victory for us as well. The service finished with a recording of Ave Maria sung by the Irish group Celtic Woman.

We may not know what Vera and Peter made of all that happened in the service but for their parents and friends it was clearly an enjoyable and moving occasion.

Peter and Vera's Christening was a wonderful occasion for us. Geoffrey and the Holne parishioners made us all feel so welcome. All of our friends and family have been commenting on how family friendly and enjoyable the service was - thank you so much! Peter and Vera are extremely lucky to have been welcomed into such a warm, friendly Church. Vera and Peter's Mum

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