First adult baptisms at new Polish church

A new Polish Christian church in Spalding is hoping to reach out to the town’s “lost” community after celebrating its first adult baptisms.

Pastor Tomasz Burakzek baptised three women at the Castle Sports Complex swimming pool on Sunday afternoon, watched by family and friends,

Hymns and prayers before baptism

Hymns and prayers before baptism

Dressed in white, Justyina Yousaf, Joanna Dziekonska and Monika Harbuz were totally submerged in the pool in a ceremony that marked “their rebirth into Christian life”.

They take the membership of the Polish Christian Church to just five, although family and friends also attend the weekly services and meetings at the Ivo Day Centre.

Pastor Burakzek hopes this will be just the start.

Ordained as a Christian pastor in Poland nearly 25 years ago and vice-president of the Military Christian Association there, he left vocation behind in 2006 to start a new life in Spalding with his wife.

As most Polish people in the town are Catholic, he attended other churches in the area but never gave up hope that one day he would be able to start his own church.

That happened four months ago after seeing there was a need while talking to his customers at the Tomek Driving School, which started when he moved to Spalding.

He said: “It is very important to me, not just as a pastor, to be able to worship in my own church.

“We are hoping many other Polish families will join us.

“Our faith is very important to us – that is something many people here (residents of Spalding) will not know when they see Polish men drinking in the streets.

“That makes us very sad because most Polish people are not like that.

“We are not perfect and even I have the odd drink at home, but we don’t get drunk on the streets.

“We hope to reach out to lost members of the community and unite our cultures through our church.”

Services at the Ivo Day Centre Albion Street take place on Sundays at 6pm.

There is a special meeting for children run at the same time.