Mark offers traditional Baptism ceremonies (Christenings) at a mutually convenient venue or location of your choice. His Baptisms are legally registered and the candidate is given a certificate and special candle used in the service. God parents are also given a certificate to keep as a reminder of their responsibilities and the important vows they’ve made on behalf of the child.
Some people come to Mark because they’ve experienced difficulty in arranging services through their local church. Others simply wish to have more freedom in the style and content of the service. Mark’s inclusive and all embracing approach expresses his deep belief that God sees all people as His children. Baptism, though having many other layers of meaning, symbolises and celebrates that truth. Mark stresses that just as Christ turned no one away, neither should the church.
The Sacrament of Baptism is a gift of grace and no one is prevented from being baptised because of cost. However Mark does not receive a stipend or regular salary which means a suggested donation is worked out, depending on the type of service and distance of venue.
Mark offers options in addition to an official Baptism. The family may choose a Christian service of Thanksgiving. Others may prefer something more eclectic, including material from other faiths.
The following two letters are from a couple after Mark welcomed their three children into the world with specially prepared ceremonies:
As a couple with mixed religious and non-religious views, we wanted to organise our own ceremony for each of our three children to mark their arrivals into the world. We were aiming for the equivalent sense of celebration of a christening, coupled with the significance and symbolism of a rite of passage. We feel that we achieved this aim for all of our children, not thanks to our own abilities, but in much greater part to Mark’s sensitivity to and enthusiasm for our plans, his personal charisma and his creativity. For each child, he tailor made a ceremony that was a uniquely memorable combination of spirituality, magic symbolism and a celebration of the gift of a child. I only wish we had known him before we got married.
Mr. Adrian Allen
Mark performed ceremonies for us to celebrate the birth of all our children. We wanted something spiritual but non-religious. They were immensely moving. He involved the children in beautiful magical tricks into which he wove wonderful stories about their future and their place in the world. We are enormously grateful to him.
Mrs. Emily Allen
This letter is from Jenny Lewis. Jenny and Gareth invited Mark to Name and Bless their lovely little son Eli, using symbols and rituals from a variety of spiritual paths – especially the Druidic tradition. Thus the ceremony was earth-centered, enchanting and full of the rich creativity one associates with Celtic spirituality:
Thank you for being on this journey with us, for inspiring us and bringing together our thoughts, spirits, natural beliefs and, more importantly, our family.
You have been an important part making this day so special for Gareth, Eli and I. It has been wonderful to have you support and guide us – and to instill a little awe of magic in us all. Our family, friends and children have been in awe of your magic and presence here today. We are very blessed to have found you.
With deepest thanks,
Jenny, Gareth and Eli