Fam­ily’s bap­tism bat­tle

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JACK PAYN­TER

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.