Baptism marks the start of our journey of faith. For many people this is when they are an infant and promises are made on their behalf by parents and godparents. For others baptism is something they seek as an adult as a public affirming of their decision to follow Jesus. Either way, baptism marks the start of an incredibly journey of following Jesus.
Open air baptism celebrations held at Easter are organised by One Voice York, a network of Christian churches and leaders of different denominations working together across the city.
Baptism of adults by total immersion (being bodily dipped under water) is symbolic of the Christian's death to their old life and re-birth in Jesus Christ, and is a particularly appropriate way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus himself on Easter Day, three days after his execution on the cross.
The York baptisms on Easter Eve have included members of a number of local churches of different denominations. Open- air baptisms have taken place even in snowy weather! Archbishop Sentamu baptised all the candidates in partnership with their own church leader who was in the water with them. Each candidate and all those present were given the opportunity to make a public declaration of their faith before the baptisms took place.
Easter is a great day to be baptised into the church of Jesus Christ for someone who has answered his call - and to make that commitment in public, in front of a crowd of supporters and witnesses.Archbishop John Sentamu