Family’s baptism battle
A FIFTH- GENERATION Bothwell family is devastated after being denied access to the local Anglican Church to baptise their newest member.
Anne Monks, whose association with the St Michael and All Angels Church dates before the 1930s when her grandparents married there, was hoping to have her three-month-old grandson Jacob baptised in the Bothwell church.
But she was shocked when the Midlands Parish would not let her hold the service there.
The church is closed, but has not yet been deconsecrated. It is on the Diocesan Council’s proposed sale list to help fund a redress scheme for the victims of childhood abuse.
“As there is no congregation currently meeting in Bothwell, there is no public worship service in which the baptism could take place,” Anglican Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie told the zette.
He said the family was not refused baptism, but had been invited to hold it elsewhere.
Ms Monks said it would “mean so much” to them to hold the service at Bothwell given their long family history with the church.
She married her husband Neil at the church in 1984 and his funeral was held there after he died in October last year.
The couple were christened Ga- at the church and both their parents are buried in the cemetery. More than 30 Monks children have been christened there.
Ms Monks told the parish of her family’s long association with the church and said it had responded with little sympathy, describing its offer as “heartless and rude”.
“It’s made us very upset, we don’t want him (Jacob) christened anywhere else,” she said
She said the Bothwell community would have loved a final service at Bothwell before it was potentially sold.
Ms Monks said she would have paid for a minister, to hire the building and clean it afterwards, but was knocked back.
Southern Midlands Mayor Tony Bisdee said if the church was deconsecrated he would have been able to understand the decision.
“These are very staunch Anglican members, the church is still available and it can’t be used,” he said.