Prince one of many baptisms
As the Archbishop of Canterbury prepares to christen HRH Prince George today, he will do so in the company of priests across our diocese who are welcoming individuals, families, children and adults into their parish churches this week - and all year - for baptism.
Here in the Diocese of Bristol, we conduct 2,000 baptisms every year and contribute to the 120,000 that take place annually in the Church of England as a whole. Between the 20 and 27 October, there are over 20 baptisms in the Diocese, from Redland to Wroughton; Upper Stratton to Soundwell; Stapleton and Stoke Gifford.
Among those joining the family of the church alongside Prince George this week are baby Ewan John Talbot, son of James and Emma, who will be baptised at St Matthew’s, Kingsdown in Bristol on 27 October.
Speaking on BBC Radio Bristol about why they had chosen to bring Ewan for baptism, his dad, James, summed up their decision-making:
“Faith is a central part of our lives. To keep Ewan out of that seems crazy.”
St Sampson’s in Cricklade will also be hosting two baptisms on 27 October. Alicia and Jordan, who are due to be married at St Sampson’s later this year, will both be baptised as adults during the morning service, while baby Lily Askwith, daughter of Gemma and Adam, will enjoy an intimate service with family and friends at midday.
Speaking about the baptism, Revd Shirley Danby said: "Through christening you're bringing God into the middle of it all, and I know that when he's in the middle of it all somehow it's held in his hands, and that's extraordinary."
Speaking in a specially produced video ahead of the Royal christening, Archbishop Justin emphasised that Prince George was, in many ways, no different to the 2 billion other Christians around the world who have also been baptised into the family of the church.
Baptism, he said, is ‘not just for royal babies but is offered to everyone, because ‘God’s love is offered without qualification, without price, without cost, to all people, in all circumstances, always.’'
Watch the Archbishop's message