Monday, 3 January 2005

Who did the baptism?

Just before Christmas, there was international press coverage of an alleged baptism in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.
See for example this report Next on Entertainment Tonight: Celebrity sacraments.
However, the Irish bishop Paul Colton mentioned in these reports, who had married the couple involved (he was at the time, the rector of the parish in Ireland where the wedding took place) completely denied having had any part in this event. See BISHOP OF CORK CRITICISES INACCURATE JOURNALISM.

Nor had the incumbent of Sawbridgeworth had any involvement. The Bishop of St Albans knew nothing about it either.

The mystery remained until The Tablet this weekend published an item about it in its Notebook column which, after reporting the events so far, continues:

A spokesman for the Beckhams’ agents tells us it was a woman priest in the Church of England but at the request of the couple would give no further details.

“They consider the matter private. It was a Church of England ceremony with additions and readings chosen by the family,” he said. He added that the woman priest had also consecrated the chapel which the Beckhams had renovated, rather than built themselves. It was not used regularly for worship.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 3 January 2005 at 12:34am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

One clarification regarding the post on our blog, GetReligion: Neither my colleague Terry Mattingly nor the story he cited from USA Today said the Bishop of Cork (or any bishop, for that matter) presided at the service. USA Today referred to it as a "Church of England ceremony," and even with this latest information, that appears accurate.

Posted by: Douglas LeBlanc on Monday, 3 January 2005 at 2:46pm GMT

OK, so I've only just seen this, but if there was a baptism surely it would have to go into the parish registers and indicate the identity of the person carrying out the baptism.

James Horgan
(well Sawbridgeworth actually)

Posted by: James Horgan on Wednesday, 13 April 2005 at 2:07pm BST