Introducing ‘the Baptingle’

Photo and article supplied by Ruth Hewitt, Church Community Worker, Church in the Park, parish of Christ the King, North Gosforth, Newcastle

In February 2015 we had the very first baptism in the new church plant, the Church in the Park, in the Parish of Christ the King, North Gosforth.

The informal service was led by the Revd Peter Dobson, who introduced the concept of the’ Baptingle’, which is a baptismal version of the Christingle (see photograph).

Demonstrating the truth of Henry Thoreau’s remark that “It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man”, the apple represents the world, and is surrounded by blue ribbon, which stands for the cleansing water of baptism.

Attached with cocktail sticks, four sweets symbolise God’s love (as a heart sweet), the baby (a jelly baby), the Godparents (mini faces) and the baby’s name (in this case, Rory). This is all topped off with a candle representing Jesus the light of the world.

Everyone was issued with a Baptingle kit at the start of the service in readiness for the explanation, and they enjoyed creating these, ‘Messy Church’ style, before the baptism took place.

We hope that this is the first of many seeds to be planted in this new Church. As Robert H Schuller once said: “Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.”