Izmir Baptisms

On Trinity Sunday, I was delighted to baptise four adults (another two decided to wait). In February, when the Bishop visits, the four baptised will also be confirmed, together with a fifth person (our Church Warden Mohsen who is baptised but not confirmed). One person also wishes to be received into the Anglican Church on that occasion (he is a Roman Catholic).

We had a lovely Trinity Sunday. After morning prayer at St. John’s, Izmir, we boarded a minibus and several cars and took a group of twenty-five people to a retreat centre near Ephesus which has a baptismal pool. The Baptisms were done during the Eucharist. A long-term member of the congregation, Ralp Berney, helped me with plunging the candidates!

After the service we had lunch and then went down to the beach nearby for a swim.  I had originally wanted to baptise these adults in the sea but images of baptism are very sensitive here and we felt it was too public.

To prepare, we used the Alpha course almost in its entirity over sixteen evenings (!) and we had a full day out at a nearby Fransiscan monastery, starting with a meal and ending with Compline every time. We will continue to meet. The film set we used was in English with Farsi subtitles which was very helpful as it meant that we could all see the same material and discuss afterwards.

James Buxton, Chaplain at St. John’s, Izmir

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