Church of England accused of 'dumbing down' Baptism

The Church of England has been accused of "dumbing down" the baptism service, one of the cornerstones of the faith, by changing its wording so parents and godparents no longer have to "repent sins" and "reject the devil".

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Words 'devil' and 'sin' cast out of new Baptism service

No mention of the devil or sin is made in the new version of the Baptism service in which parents and godparents are asked to "reject evil, and all its many forms, and all its empty promises".

A sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury in Kent. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In the original version the vicar asks: "Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?", prompting the reply: "I reject them." They then ask: "Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?" with the answer: "I repent of them."

"Instead of explaining what baptism means and what the various parts of the service signify, its solution is to do away with key elements of the service altogether!" Dr Nazir-Ali says in the article.

Church of England accused of 'dumbing down' Baptism

The Church of England has been accused of "dumbing down" the baptism service, one of the cornerstones of the faith, by changing its wording so parents and godparents no longer have to "repent sins" and "reject the devil".

Michael James Nazir-Ali before his enthronement as 106th Bishop of Rochester.

A trial of the new wording, aimed at making it easier to understand, will last in parishes until Easter.

Former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, writing in The Mail on Sunday, branded it as part of the "constant dumbing down of Christian teaching" rather than making an effort to explain the meaning of baptism.

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