Unique Service Includes the Baptisms and Confirmations of Teenagers from Four Churches
In what is thought to have been a first for the country, a Huddersfield Baptist church hosted a service that included Baptist and Methodist baptisms, Methodist confirmations and Anglican confirmations
The ten young people, all teenagers, came from four Huddersfield churches - New North Road Baptist, Gledholt Methodist, Holy Trinity Huddersfield and Kirkheaton Parish Church. They are all members of the 'Rock Solid' youth group which meets on a Sunday evening and draws young people from each of the four churches involved.
The idea came from youth worker Dan Wood, the youth worker at Holy Trinity and Gledholt Methodist. 'As our group includes young people from all four churches I thought how great it would be if they could all make their Christian commitment in one service,' he explained. 'I was delighted when all the church leaders were equally enthusiastic about the idea.
'It's a first for Huddersfield, and we think a first for the whole country.'
The ministers worked together to produce the service, combining elements from Baptist, Anglican and Methodist services.
Many people had to stand as the church was packed by supporters from all the churches and loud applause greeted each young person when they gave their reasons for making their Christian commitment. One, Ruth Baddock, had written a song to tell her story and performed it.
'It was great to see the young people setting an example of unity,' Dan said, 'and the different churches putting their own traditions second and the young people first.'
The Revd Wayne Clarke, minister of New North Road Baptist, was delighted to welcome everyone. 'It has been really good for our church to be used for this very special occasion,' he said.
'Too often the Church is thought to be just about old people but here we have ten teenagers committing themselves to the Lord.'
A definite first at the service on Pentecost Sunday was an Anglican Bishop taking confirmations at New North Road Baptist Church. The Bishop in question was the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract.
'What better way to celebrate the 'birthday' of the church on Pentecost Sunday than to join together with other Christians in Huddersfield to baptize and confirm these ten young people,' he said.
'It was wonderful to see them affirmed by everyone. In these days of so many instant celebrities, famous for being famous, it was good to have ten young people celebrated for something real that will set the direction of the rest of their lives.'
The Rev Stephen Day of Gledholt Methodist added that it was 'great to be able to share together in this service. It was lovely to be able to work in partnership with other Christians, to celebrate our shared faith in Christ. We rejoice with all the young people, and commit ourselves to serving Him along with them.'
The Revd Richard Steel, Rector of Kirkheaton, commented that 'it was great to work with the others in producing this unique service.'
'As a teenager I too was involved with young people from all different local churches,' he added, 'and it was great to see young people I had helped prepare for today make a commitment in this way.'