Great Britain was embraced in the icy grip of wintery weather for the first weekend of spring. Despite the negative forecasts we were determined to hold this incredible demonstration of unity and growth amongst York churches.
The event was held in the shadow of York Minster at St Michael-le-Belfrey. Hundreds of Christians met together to celebrate Easter inside as we sang together and heard Archbishop Sentamu preach.
Steve Hurd’s City Church team put in a great deal of work in the background that made the day possible and they also provided a band. York City Gospel Choir began the afternoon, and the joint chairs introduced the event. Graham Hutchinson spoke to the candidates and then David Casswell prayed over each making the sign of the cross.
After each candidate was interviewed and made an individual public profession of faith, we went outside the building to baptise them in a specially prepared pool. After Stephen Redman prayed over the water, 25 people were baptised in the second One Voice Joint Baptismal Service.
Many churches were represented and each candidate was baptised by their church leader and Dr Sentamu together.
We were so blessed to have an amazing window of weather for the baptisms – five minutes after we had finished a veritable blizzard hit York.
The good news has always been that ‘He is Risen’. This Easter that good news was reinforced by hundreds of Christians from dozens of churches gathering to see people baptised, proving that the church of Jesus Christ is still alive – and showing growth in York.
The media were out in force and the event was featured on the BBC evening news.
At the end of the baptisms there was an open invitation for people to renew their baptismal vows, and to those who wished Christian leaders went around symbolically splashing water on them from the tank.