Baptism, Royal Brine Baths, Stafford

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Date:1st of October 1950

Description:Mrs D Whittaker, one of the oldest members of the Covenant Hall Evangelical Church, St. Patrick’s Street, Stafford, is pictured being baptised by the Rev. Selwyn Homer at the Royal Brine Baths on the evening of Sunday 1 October.

Mrs S Astbury (Assistant Secretary of the Church) told the Staffordshire Newsletter that It was the second time the Church had used the public baths for this purpose, the first occasion was two years ago. The baptisms took place after a service conducted by the Pastor, the Rev. Selwyn Homer. There was a congregation of more than 200 around the bath and in the gallery. During the service a hymn “Living for Jesus” was sung by a choir of young people of the church.

The candidates for baptism were dressed in white, with the men in cricket shirts and flannels and the women in long white dresses and head coverings. The congregation sang to a piano accompaniment, the chorus, “Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus” and the candidates waded into the centre of the bath at the three-foot end, and were in turn immersed in the water by the Pastor who was assisted by Mr W Highfield (Church Secretary) and Mr Graham Picken.

The oldest candidate was 68 year-old Mrs D Whittaker from the Sir Martin Noel Almshouses and the youngest was 16 year-old Margaret Partridge. One candidate, Mr Harold Meakin of North Castle Street, who lost his leg in the war, was aided into the water by the two assistants. Other candidates who were also baptised were Miss Joan Wilson, and two sisters, the Misses Iris Hawkins and Joan Hawkins, Mr Gordon Bebbington, Mr Gordon Burrows, Mr Michael Taylor and Mr Eric Hodson. On leaving the water they were given towels and went to the changing-rooms where they were given cups of tea.

This photograph was published in the Staffordshire Newsletter on Saturday 7 October 1950. Reproduced by Kind permission of the Staffordshire Newsletter who retain copyright.

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Creators: Staffordshire Newsletter - Creator

Donor ref:D4527-B1-NN-20 (201/45484)

Source: Staffordshire County Record Office

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