Chilly North Sea baptism for Abi
Abi Harold was baptised in the sea at Sheringham on Sunday March 20, after giving a moving testimony at Lighthouse Community Church earlier that morning. Tony Rothe reports.
A crowd from the church gathered on the promenade and beach to witness Abi being briefly submerged into a very cold North Sea by Daniel Ward, community pastor, and intern Tim Waller from the church. She emerged from the sea for a hug from her Mum, Christine, bottom picture.
Earlier, during the morning service at Lighthouse, Abi told how she had spent her earlier adult years running away from Jesus, but turned to him during a low point in her life.
“My testimony is a winding story, which I think can best be summarised as being 'Found in the wild'. I would describe my character as curious, questioning, and creative” she explained. “For a long time, I didn't feel I was accepted for this in the Christian community I was raised in. I spent much of my teenage years trying to find my own idea of 'home' - in new places, people, and spiritual paths. I looked as far as I could, but ultimately found myself more empty and lost than before.
“God showed himself to me at several low points in my life, but it wasn't until I accepted Jesus into my life that I found my security in knowing that no matter where I ran, who I or others thought I was - I was known, accepted and loved by God.”
The North Sea at Sheringham is only around 6 degrees Centigrade at this time of year, generally regarded as too cold for bathing! Most baptisms by immersion in the town take place in the heated indoor baptistry at Lighthouse, although baptisms are sometimes performed in the sea, especially later in the summer, when the water temperature can reach 17 degrees C.
“I chose to be baptised in the sea as the sea has always been a very spiritual place for me” said Abi. “It is where I feel the smallness of my problems against the vastness of God's creation. Like God, the sea leaves me both peace and awe. Its beauty is both mighty and tranquil.”
The photos are courtesy of Gareth Gabriel film and photo.
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