A service with a splash!

Bishop Baines baptises the congregation ' and the cameraman!
Bishop Baines baptises the congregation ' and the cameraman!

The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, had to think on his feet during an unusual service at Battyeford’s Church of Christ the King on Palm Sunday.

The bishop was at the church to mark the installation and blessing of a new font, which sprung a leak part-way through his sermon!

Crafted in timber, stone and stained glass, the font is the work of Yorkshire artists David Wilson, Celia Kilner and Caryl Hallett. Vicar Maggie McLean first came up with the idea of commissioning them after seeing David and Celia’s work in wood and stone at the newly refurbished Wakefield Cathedral.

During the service of dedication at Christ the King, the font sprung a slight leak because of an ill-fitting plug.

The bishop swiftly adapted his words to reflect on how we all spring leaks from time to time in the sense that we fall short of the promises made on our behalf at baptism and later in person at confirmation.

He then went on to give the congregation an informal baptism by spraying them with water from the font.

Speaking afterwards, Maggie said: “We were very fortunate to have Bishop Nick with us on Palm Sunday – after all he does have another 655 churches in his care!

“Our splendid new font is a testimony to co-operative effort and artistic dexterity which will enhance worship in our church for generations to come.”