Bishops don’t often get wet at a Baptism, usually it’s just the baby, but the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, was happy to respond to a request from two adult members of Kirkheaton Parish Church for full immersion.
This was a first for him, and for the church too and they had to borrow a pool from a church in Wakefield
Sharon Jones and Gareth Sayles wanted to express their faith in a way that reflected their commitment. They were Baptised and then confirmed along with six other people from Kirkheaton, St Bartholomew’s, Grange Moor and All Hallows, Almondbury, on Sunday 24th May.
"This kind of Baptism is more often associated with Baptist churches,’ says Rector of Kirkheaton, the Revd Richard Steel, ‘but I was delighted when Sharon asked if she could be baptised this way, and Gareth agreed too. Not only is it very dramatic but it goes right back to the kind of Baptism Jesus himself had.”
"As it was the Sunday evening of our Arts Festival,” he continues, "and we had to have the pool filled during this, we thought we’d make a real feature of it and gave people the chance to make ‘Prayer Lilies’ or Prayer Boats to float in the pool, which many did.”
"The whole church was full of paintings, quilts, photographs and much more, with hundreds of people enjoying this and live music over the whole Bank holiday weekend. It was lovely to welcome so many people into the church."