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Why Wash?

There have been mutterings in the press this week about a new liturgy that the Church of England is trying out around the rite of baptism. For example, The Telegraph proclaims: “Sin? People think it’s about sex and cream cakes, says Archdeacon in baptism service row” although The Guardian takes a more balanced view: “The Church of England isn’t abandoning sin – nor should it“. It turns out that I will get a ring-side seat from which to make up my own mind as St Clement’s is one of the churches in the Diocese of Oxford that is going to be trying out the new liturgical material over the next few months.

There are a couple of christenings scheduled but it will get an outing this Sunday when the church is invited to renew its baptismal vows. Being the designated worship leader for the service, I’ve had an advance look at the material and my first impression is that it actually appears quite good. I will definitely be pondering it more and look forward to experiencing it in the context of a live service but, tentatively, I’d suggest that the CofE isn’t in danger of throwing the baby out with the, erm, font water.

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