Friday, 29 May 2015

Baptising All Religions

A Mirror article with so many odds and ends you don't know where to start.... with the Revd Tim Hayes of St John's Dukinfield cast in the role of Evil Vicar.

"Evil vicar" from Anglican Memes.

In apparently refusing to baptise a child because his parents aren't married (the child's,  not the vicar's), Tim Hayes is quoted as saying:
“I believe marriage is God’s way... [but] it’s not so much about what I think, it’s about what Jesus thinks.”
Well, assuming Revd Tim isn't being misquoted (possibly a dodgy assumption given the rest of the article) what Jesus thinks is "allow the little children to come to me, for to such as them belongs the Kingdom of God." While the Church of England rules are pretty clear, saying that the incumbent has a responsibility to baptise children from the parish, and can't make up the rules to suit his/her personal theology.

A baptism isn't about the parents, isn't about the school, isn't about the vicar's views of modern morality. Little Roman has as much right to God's grace as the child of parents who both married as virgins and go to church twice a day.

I'm being a bit cagy here, as the mother's comments regarding getting Roman into the right school, quoted straight, seem unbelievable.
"It doesn’t matter what religion you are, but they do require you to be baptised.”
Well, I say, what, what? Are there really schools in Manchester where you can get in if you're a Muslim or a Zoroastrian, but only if you are baptised? Has anyone investigated this?  Did the Mirror interview the schools concerned? Or has it just taken the word of an apparently confused mother, who really meant "denomination"?

Obviously, the latter. Cross-checking with the schools concerned would have been journalism.

Edit: A spokesperson for the Diocese of Chester said (Daily Mail link):
'At no point has he refused to baptise the child. The Church of England believes that the best place for a child grow is within marriage.
'The vicar would be happy to help the couple be married and then to baptise their child at no financial cost to them – so that the best outcome can be achieved.
'We hope the family will receive this offer warmly, but if they would rather not be married, then St John’s church, Dukinfield, will still be happy to offer them a service of thanksgiving.'
Which I read as "At no point has he refused to baptise the child. But if the parents continue not to accept the illegal conditions he has placed on the child's baptism, he will not baptise the child". 


  1. I find it sad when people say they can't get married because they can't afford a wedding. We proudly claim that our wedding (in 1979) cost the princely sum of £8.00, which was the fee for notifying the registrars in Oxford (where we were resident during term time) and Widnes (my fiance's home town where we were to be married).

    We married in his home church (Farnworth Methodist) during the Sunday morning service. The minister, organist, choir etc. all gave their services for nothing (after all, they were all going to be there anyway!) and the lunch afterwards was a home-made affair (largely supplied from my parents' large garden).

    We had offered to pay for the flowers on the communion table, but it turned out that someone from the congregation was already committed to donating them that week in memory of some dear departed relative.

    So the only cost to us was paying the registrar to display a notice for the requisite number of weeks, just in case anyone could think of any just cause or impediment.

    A few years ago one of our daughters also chose to get married during the morning service in the church where she and her husband worship. I can highly recommend the practice, which is cheap, convenient and doesn't encourage people to dress up in ridiculos outfits.

  2. Just about to piss the CofE off massively (though fortunately they are unlikely to find out, unless my outraged mother informs them) by being re-baptised in a Baptist church -and has the Mirror thought about that angle - maybe in the future little Roman might like to make his own decision as to whether he's Christian or not (no-one seems to care about that though, it's all about getting in the right school...).

  3. Presumably no-one thought to quote Canon B22, section 4

    "4. No minister shall refuse or, save for the purpose of preparing or instructing the parents or guardians or godparents, delay to baptize any infant within his cure that is brought to the church to be baptized, provided that due notice has been given and the provisions relating to godparents in these Canons are observed."

    Sorry - that would involve research.

    1. Well I kind of did, above...

      I suspect the minister wouldn't, as that would undermine his petty evo principles.

      And the parents wouldn't have thought about looking there, assuming the minister was Pope in his own parish.

      And the journalists..... as you say, that would require journalism.


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