Choirboys commit to Christian belief after baptism at Spalding church

Six choirboys baptised at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, by the Rev John Bennett (centre) are (from left), Aston Grooby, Travis Tomlinson, Sam Jarvis, Nedas Lukosevicius, Armandas Kaklauskas and Zak Darley.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Six choirboys baptised at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, by the Rev John Bennett (centre) are (from left), Aston Grooby, Travis Tomlinson, Sam Jarvis, Nedas Lukosevicius, Armandas Kaklauskas and Zak Darley. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Members and visitors to Spalding Parish Church may have witnessed a moment of history this summer unlike any in its 830-year history.

Six youngsters from the St Mary and St Nicolas Church choir, Zak Darley, Aston Grooby, Sam Jarvis, Armandas Kaklauskas, Nedas Lukosevicius and Travis Tomlinson, were all baptised during a service led by the Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett.

The act of “Christian commitment” allows the boys to play a full part in the church’s life, including communion and confirmation into the Church of England.

Mr Bennett said: “We welcome children to be prepared to receive communion before confirmation as long as they have been christened or baptised.

“So I asked the choir if there was anyone who would like to be prepared to receive communion and there was a group of eight boys who said they would like to be prepared.

“Out of the eight, six of them had never been baptised as babies so I asked them if they would like to be baptised and they all enthusiastically said ‘yes’.

I’ve never baptised that many youngsters on such an occasion in my 30-plus years of ministry and it was both unusual, but also a great delight

The Rev John Bennett, Vicar of St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding

“I took the view that they were all old enough to decided for themselves but I wrote to the parents in any case, some of them being very supportive and the others happy for the boys to make baptism their own decision.”

The church choir is currently going through a wave of growing interest from young people and Mr Bennett confirmed that out of its 50 members, “probably 40 to 45 are under the age of 25”.

Mr Bennett added: “I’ve never baptised that many youngsters on such an occasion in my 30-plus years of ministry and it was both unusual, but also a great delight, that the rest of the choir came down to the font and saw how excited all the boys were to make this step of Christian commitment.

“Their faith has grown through being part of the choir and the church.”

Christians walk to the cross in Spalding

Spalding yarn bomber’s fun art attack

Police back Spalding community forum to help migrants

New forum speaks for migrants in Spalding