Little children come as the white church beckons

Romney Victor Smith is a kindergarten pupil at the Braidwood Central School and is the son of parents with no church affiliations. A few weeks ago, he came home from school and, much to his mother’s surprise announced that he wanted to be baptised. On questioning Romney, his mother discovered that this desire came directly from school Scripture classes. All RE teachers should take heart from this.

As well as being quite definite about wishing to be baptised, Romney explained that he did not want this to be done in either of the two big churches, but in the little white church with the bell, St Andrew’s Uniting Church. After a couple of phone calls and two face-to-face talks with Romney and his mother, it was decided that the baptism should take place on 16 July. During these talks both Romney and his mother asked quite a number of questions about the Sacrament of Baptism itself as well as the order of service.

On the morning of the service there were 14 children present, which was an unprecedented number for this congregation, as Romney had invited a number of his school friends to come to his baptism. Most of these were accompanied by parents, so the congregation was considerable compared with the usual number of worshippers. Romney was delighted when he was allowed to ring the bell prior to the beginning of the service. He was very attentive during the actual baptism and when he was taken by the Elder and introduced to members of the congregation, he was astonishingly poised, shaking hands with each person. As he carried the lighted baptismal candle back to his pew, he processed, rather than walked.

Following a more than usually lavish morning tea, farewells were being said and one of the congregation expressed hope that we’ll see Romney again before too long, and he replied “Oh, I’ll be here next time!”. His father smiled and said that would mean the end of his Sunday morning tennis. His parents were very supportive of Romney’s unexpected request. He is a remarkable little boy and his baptism will be long remembered by all who were there.

David Mullen