While the Forest is murmuring as much as ever, I`m afraid I`ve not felt inspired to drag myself to the computer recently. However this story caught my attention today. I wonder whether this happens in other parts of the country apart from Dover? Baptisms may remain popular because whereas this secular naming ceremony (and I wonder how long it will be before it becomes compulsory?) costs between £109 and £234, baptisms come with no fixed fee although most couples are happy to leave £20 or so.
From the Religious Intelligence site.
Bishop’s anger over secular naming ceremony Friday, 7th December 2007. 3:35pm
By: George Conger.
THE BISHOP of Dover has criticized Kent County Council (KCC) for privileging secular ‘baby welcoming’ ceremonies over Christian baptism for newborn infants.
“Whilst I have no objection to KCC offering a secular service for those who would like it, I do have problems with them promoting these alternatives through the registration service,” Bishop Stephen Venner told the diocesan newspaper, Outlook.
When parents register the birth of their child in Kent, the county Registrar’s Office gives them a pamphlet advertising a ‘Simply Perfect Kentish Welcoming Service.”
The KCC’s website states: “A welcoming ceremony can be a very special way of celebrating the birth of your child and welcoming the new arrival into the family and the wider community. It’s also an opportunity to declare, before family and friends, your promise to be as good a parent as you can and for adult friends or relatives to confirm their special relationship with your child.” The naming service costs from £109 to £234 and comes with a customised naming scroll.
“If people are to be made aware of services, then KCC should include the provision of the various faith communities in any glossy brochures they are handing out and on their websites,” Bishop Venner said.“The role of government is to enable all sections of the community to have the services they need, not to promote just one option,” he noted.