Don't baptise Brooklyn!
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Don't Baptise Baby Brooklyn!
Parish Newsletter picked up by Sun, Yorkshire Post, CEN, the Jimmy Young Show (Radio 2) and Radio Leeds, is set out in full below.  It's important to recognise the positive nature of the original article
COPY OF PARISH MAGAZINE ARTICLE FOLLOWS (St Luke Eccleshill "The Link" April 2002 page 1) 

Go for the other christening instead: the "Thanksgiving"

"I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don't know into what religion yet" - David Beckham (Quoted in The Mirror)  

And this tiny human was entirely dependent on us.  We had to look after her and take care of her, and of course we wanted to do the best by her.  I felt very inadequate, and I knew I needed some extra help from God.  So I wanted to ask God's blessing for her as she grew up.

 And I think many parents want that.  But you might find your local church tells you about 'baptism' if you mention christening.  My advice is: Go for the other christening   option.  It's called 'Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child'.

 There are two christening services, you see.  Here's the difference:

 The Thanksgiving is what Jesus did when the people brought their little children to him: he took the children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.  The service says: (i) thank you God for this child, and (ii) please help ('bless') him/her as s/he grows up.

 The Baptism ... well, for a start, some churches don't have infant baptisms at all because it is not known if babies were baptized in bible times. If your son is baptized you parents have to say (i) we are committed followers of Jesus ourselves, (ii) we will bring up our child as a Christian to come to church with us regularly, and teach him about Jesus, and pray with him, and so on..., and (iii) he will be an active disciple of Jesus when he is an adult.  Obviously that's quite a promise!  You have to be certain enough about which church is the one you're going to take Brooklyn to week by week.

 David, you're an honest bloke - honest enough to say that you aren't dead sure for yourself which religion is right.  I hope you'll discover a living faith in Jesus for yourself.  But don't make a promise for Brooklyn that you don't mean.  That would be a terrible start to his life!

 John Hartley  

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