The former Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, has blasted a decision to change the wording of traditional Church of England (CofE) christening and baptismal services.
According to a report in the Daily Express, the former bishop called the new wording, which no longer requires parents to reject the devil and repent of their sins, as a ‘striking at the heart’ of the Christian faith.
Bishop Nazir-Ali said, ‘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. Rather than the constant dumbing down of Christian teaching, whether for baptism, marriage or death, we should be preparing people for these great rites of passage’.
The new wording, which is being given a trial run in 1000 UK churches, has been given the backing of the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
It is part of the CofE’s attempts to make the ceremony easier for people to understand and to use more culturally accessible language, although it is understood that General Synod has not yet approved the wording, as it is still in a trial period.