This is the moment a vicar baptised a churchgoer in the sea – while wearing a dog collar and WETSUIT.
Reverend Amanda Stevens carried out the religious ceremony as Lee Schofield, 44, was submerged in the ocean by two shivering worshippers.
Hardy Rev Stevens donned her religous garb and surfing gear before wading out into chilly high-tide waters off Porthtowan Beach in Cornwall.
The service took place despite driving rain and swirling winds – with lifeguards stationed nearby.
Lee, a former builder and an ME sufferer, was baptised wearing his Sunday best suit as the group said prayers and hymns.
Rev Stevens said: “Lee wanted to make a public statement of his faith. It’s the first time I’ve carried out a beach baptism.
“Adults can be fully submerged in water, which is often done in private in a swimming pool, but we have the sea on our doorstep.
“I made sure we went during high tide so that access would be easier. We were being very cautious. Lee was nervous at first but seemed elated afterwards.”
The ceremony was witnessed by fellow worshippers from the nearby Chapel on the Hill Methodist church in Porthtowan.
But because of the weather most chose to watch from the warmth of their cars overlooking the beach.
Mr Schofield and volunteers Douglas Trewern and John Bache dried themselves off before the service resumed indoors.
Lee was diagnosed with ME five years ago and was so badly affected that he had to give up his job in the building trade.
He said his baptism was a “public display of his rebirth” and that the congregation at the Chapel on the Hill was now his “great family”.
He added: “I’m not used to going into water and felt nervous at first but I prayed for help and it went well.”
Good story. But she is not a vicar, she is a Methodist minister; vicars are Anglicans. Also she is not ‘Rev Stevens’ unless this is in America. British English is the Rev Amanda Stevens on first use, then Mrs (or whatever) Stevens thereafter.