Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Church of England launches campaign to counter steep decline in baptisms

he Church of England has launched a campaign to make baptisms more popular after it was revealed that the number has halved in 15 years.

Fewer than one in six of all infants is now baptised and in major cities the number has fallen to one in ten.

A book of guidance is being sent to clergy asking them to modernise their approach. One suggestion is that they make cohabiting couples feel more welcome, with a view to encouraging them to become regular churchgoers.

The guide says: "For some families today, the baptism of a child represents an opportunity for the first public acknowledgement of the parents' relationship. Churches can use this as an opportunity to promote marriage."

Just over 15 per cent of babies were christened into the CofE in 2005. The total of 93,000 Anglican baptisms was just over half the 184,000 as recently as 1990, they revealed. Read more
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1 comment:

Peter Kirk said...


I have to agree with the commenter on the article:

If you're not a Christian it's pointless having a baptism - the promises you make when you have your child baptised are all to do with bringing the child up to follow Jesus - strip away the faith aspect to baptism and all you have is a superstitious ritual.

So what is the point of the church trying to promote baptism if it doesn't first promote the gospel among the parents? The only good thing about this campaign (like Back to Church Sunday) is that it might bring more unbelievers into churches, or vicar's studies, where they can hear the gospel.

I remember (from about 30 years ago) hearing a bishop advocating (perhaps tongue in cheek) "baptism by hosepipe". I also remember thinking how this approach is more like magic than true Christianity.