Sunday 20th November 2011

Commitment to God
  This Sunday was a very special day in the life of St. Mary's church and as a result Sue and I went to two services, in the morning and evening.

The morning service was a a Baptism and Confirmation during which 8 people of varying ages from mid teens to somewhat older made a public commitment to the Christian Faith.

The Anglican faith includes Infant Baptism, during which Godparents make a commitment to guide children in the Christian Faith. When they are old enough to make a conscious choice, those people confirm their commitment. 4 of the people who confirmed their commitment today had not been baptised as a child, so had to be baptised before they could make their confirmation commitment.

Baptism at St. Mary's is by total immersion, not just a token marking with water. This is a very dramatic and moving ceremony.

Confirmation Services are presided over by a Bishop. Often Bishops are rather remote and speak in a jargon that mere mortals find it difficult to relate to. The Bishop of Basingstoke does not conform to this mould. Peter Hancock comes across as a humble person, who speaks in a way that people will understand and is not afraid of introducing humour.

We were privileged to see one member of the small bible study house group that we participate in undergo Baptism and make his public commitment, and because we don't normally attend the morning service, we were able to talk to people we don't normally meet at the evening service. I am still amazed (and comforted) when people I hardly know tell me that they are praying for me.

Chris came round at lunchtime and helped me with a very important task. My printer was jammed and I needed his help to move it to a location where we would get into the back (it is too heavy for me to lift, without risk of damaging my hip).

We then went to The Hatch for a roast dinner and back to his new house for the first time since he has installed furniture and moved in. We were amazed at how well everything was co-ordinated and how much like a home it looked. Seeing Chris settled in a house of his own gave us a great sense of relief.

In the evening Sue and I returned to St. Marys for a rather quiet evening service.