Saturday April 11th 2009 was the date of the 3rd annual open air baptisms with One Voice in the city centre of York.
Once again church leaders joined with Archbishop Sentamu to baptise believers by full immersion in a tank of water. This year we were stationed on the steps of York Minster. An hour of live worship music preceded the service which began by welcoming the Archbishop of York.
David Casswell (Clifton Parish) welcomes everyone and led the gathering.
Each candidate was publicly asked why they wanted to be baptised and then they were signed with the cross.
After a reading, Dr Sentamu talked about the love of God and the life of God.
Dr Sentamu asked each candidate:
Do you turn to Christ? Do you repent of your sins? Do you renounce evil?
The candidates together responded:
I turn to Christ. I repent of my sins. I renounce evil.
Stephen Redman (Ark) then prayed over the water and asked the candidates together to affirm that God was their Father that Jesus was their Lord and that they were born of the Spirit. He stated that on the basis of their public confession they were to be baptised.
Several churches brought candidates and in turn a leader of each church got in the tank with Dr Sentamu to perform the baptisms.
After emerging from the water hands were laid on each candidate to receive the Holy Spirit by local ministers.
The youngest candidate, Libby, was the daughter of a candidate in the first ever joint baptisms in 2007.
Finally Graham Hutchinson (Elim) asked if anyone in the crowd would like to publicly re-affirm their baptismal vow. He asked those who wanted to lift up a hand and that one of the ministers would come and splash them with water out of the tank as a symbol of their re-affirmation.
A sea of hands appeared and a lot of water was splashed!
It was a great afternoon with a huge crowd of people gathered to recognise the testimony of believers.
The media covered the event once again and it was seen on the news. Also one of the candidates was interviewed.
Some of the Sunday papers reported the event so we even made the News of the World!