Choosing to be christened gives faith more meaning
THE christening of Prince George at St James's Palace last week brought to mind my own christening.
It happened rather late in life – at the age of 36 – in large part due to my mother's staunch atheistic views.
If I'm to be perfectly honest, at that time I got christened for two reasons.
The first being that in order to be godmother to my best friend's daughter the presiding vicar was adamant that godparents must themselves be christened.
FREE WHEATGERM WITH EVERY POND HEATER www.blagdon-water-gardens.c...View details
Protect your pond fish this winter. Purchase the resun 100w pond heater £39.99 from www.blagdon-water-gardens.co.uk and we will give you a pot of Tetra wheatgerm 1l winter fishfood worth £4.99 FREE
Contact: 01934 316673
Valid until: Friday, February 28 2014
In addition, the church I chose to attend in order to qualify was the French Huguenot Church in New York, where I was living and working at the time, which gave free French lessons after church. Plus the vicar got brownie points for christenings.
Not the best of reasons for seeking God's blessing, I admit, but I've since seen the light and am now the proud godmother of four children.
However, I am in two minds about the value of christening babies at an age at which they are not able to make the decision for themselves.
I ask this because I am often bemused by the wish for parents to have their children christened, when it may well be the only time apart from a wedding, funeral or annual nativity service, that they set foot through the door.
I would be the last person to deny anyone access to the church, but I do wonder how meaningful it is.
Perhaps it's the religious equivalent of an insurance policy?
To my mind, a much better route – and one I was delighted to be invited to witness recently – was the thanksgiving service held by friends of mine at a local Baptist church to celebrate the birth of their daughter.
It was a lovely service and, in my opinion, a great idea because, as a result, when she reaches a certain age she can decide to choose for herself and make a knowing commitment to her faith.
It does take all sorts to make this world, but no matter what route we choose in life I believe that an element of sincerity is necessary for it to be deemed at all meaningful.