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Devil to be axed from some baptism services

The Devil will be omitted from some baptism services after the The Church of England backed a new simplified version in an attempt to appeal to people with no religious background.

The devil will no longer feature in some baptism services. Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The current baptism service in the Common Worship asks parents whether they will "reject the devil and all rebellion against God", "renounce the deceit and corruption of evil" and "repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour".

The new alternative service asks them only to say that they "turn away from sin" and "reject evil."

Members of the General Synod, meeting at York University, were told that the new version appealed to parents, godparents and relatives when it had been piloted throughout the country, before approving the changes.

The Rt Rev Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, who proposed the new text said: "We all know that for many people, the Devil has been turned into a cartoon-like character of no particular malevolence."