The Statistics for Mission 2015 showed that Ely Diocese had 1640 baptisms and thanksgivings for children under 12. This Bishop's Study Day held at Over on March 2 was offered to clergy and all those interested in developing the opportunities of baptism.
We welcomed Rev Canon Dr Sandra Millar to lead us in a day presenting her research findings around baptism and the expectations of unchurched families around "christening". Debbie Hill, Diocesan Children's Advisor introduced the day with a pictorial representation of our local demands for baptism shown with the distribution of follow up children's work and toddler groups, demonstrating the lack of correlation between the two . Although the distribution varied from deanery to deanery, there are many, many more baptisms in the Fens but with little children's work.
Debbie Hill Opening the Event
In addition to Sandra, Jenny Paddison, author of a resource "Starting Rite" described how to use the course as a tool for connecting with baptism families. http://startingrite.org/
From the Diocese, Rachel Blanchflower spoke about her role in SANG, a music group for parents and carers and the young children they care for. Sid Bridges followed on describing the Refresh group that has been established for young families with links further strengthened by digital networking.
You can watch more about their innovative work here: (links)
We enjoyed a lively, informative, mission hopeful day with much positive feedback from those who attended.
For more information on Baptisms go to:www.churchofenglandchristenings.org
We have a number of baptism folders spare- one of which was given to each participant on the day. If you were unable to attend, and would like one please contact Jennie at : email@example.com