Advanced search Click here for the website of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

Skip Content

Archbishop Invitation to Join Baptisms at York Minster

Rachael Cain is baptised

Friday 6th April 2012

Writing in the York Press on Good Friday, the Archbishop reflects on following in the footsteps of Jesus, putting God first, others second and yourself last. He invites all to join him at the open air baptisms taking place tomorrow, Saturday 7 April at 2pm, outside York Minster. His article in full follows...

Tomorrow on the steps outside York Minster, joined by several Church Ministers, I will baptise a number of people in York who have decided to give their lives to Jesus Christ. I am hoping for warm sunshine – but I remember all too well baptising in the snow three years ago!

Each year the crowds who come to watch cannot fail to be encouraged by the inspirational stories of those individuals coming forward to be baptised. It is amazing to hear the stories of their encounter with God, and to witness them, following in the footsteps of Jesus, as they decide to put God first, others second and themselves last.

If we could bottle the enthusiasm of these new disciples of Jesus and sell it, we would all be millionaires!

But their contribution to our society is far more valuable than that.

I read recently that for the Olympics over 40,000 people will work as “Games Makers” volunteering their time and efforts to ensure the Olympic games run smoothly.  Hats off to them, I say. These volunteers will perform a number of different tasks, at the sporting venues and across the country, using their individual skills and abilities. But over 250,000 people applied to be “Games Makers” and there was a careful selection process. Less than one in five were chosen.

With God, nobody is excluded.  All can contribute their unique gifts to serving those around them. Whoever we are and whatever our interests and skills are, we have a role to play in improving the world around us. No-one will be turned away.

 Imagine what could be achieved in York if every single person volunteered a small amount of their time to serve others. Imagine if we all took on a “can-do” attitude rather than a negative one of why things won’t work. We could transform things over night!

Baptism of adults by total immersion (having your whole body dipped under water) is symbolic of the Christian's death to their old life and re-birth in a new life with God. It’s about trying to do things differently from now on.

The baptisms will start at 2pm tomorrow and it’s completely free to come along. Regardless of whether it is sunny, raining or even snowing, there is always a carnival atmosphere at the Holy Saturday baptisms - so why not join us?

And maybe if you are feeling God’s call in your own life and have never been baptised, we can baptise you. But come with clothes to change into. The joy of Easter is that it’s never too late to make a fresh start. Happy Easter to you all. 

Back · Back to top