Church of England May Remove Christian Language from Baptisms

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Baby Being Baptized by an Anglican Priest

Call it ‘Baptism Lite.’

A group of clergymen have submitted documents to the General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church, calling on it to prepare alternatives for the Common Worship baptismal services, which are used at the majority of Anglican christenings. It’s their hope that doing so will make them more accessible and interesting to non-churchgoers—including the many “unchurched” parents and godparents who participate in the 139,000 Anglican baptisms conducted in the country every year.

(More on Time.Com: De-baptism Gains a Following in Britain.)

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Reverend Tim Stratford explained that he and fellow men of the cloth from the city’s poorest areas have long had misgivings about rites that the masses find incomprehensible. Their proposal for reform centers around passages like the Prayer Over Water. Recited during the baptism, it discusses the children of Israel and their passage from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. That should be replaced, he says, with simple and direct language that actually resonates with people’s experiences.

“This was not a plea for a prayer in Scouse, but for a prayer that the majority of non- theologically-versed Britons would understand,” he wrote in the proposal. “It was a common experience of clergy to feel they were losing touch with congregations at important moments in the service unnecessarily.”

The Church of England General Synod convenes in London next month. (via Daily Mail)

(More on Time.Com: See pictures of baptism in the Jordan River.)
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