15 baptisms in one day at Noddfa church near Pontypool
It WAS normal for the service to resume – and then some – at the church in Noddfa this weekend.
Pastor John baptized 15 people on Sunday, the first church baptisms since before the pandemic began.
Over 200 people attended the church for baptisms, and there was also music from the Noddfa Band to celebrate one of the first occasions the congregation had to come together in nearly 18 months.
Pastor John said the day showed how far the church has progressed in recent years, having already faced impending closure.
“We had a fantastic day,” he said. “We had 15 people who were all baptized.
- The arrival of a new baby is always a happy time for every family. Share the good news with us and our readers by clicking here to submit information and photos.
“They come from all walks of life and it shows that anyone can enter religion – it’s not just a crutch for the broken.
“This is the first chance we have. Some of them have been coming to the service for three years, others for six months.
“Before coming to Noddfa in 2014, they had not had a baptism for 30 years.
“The day went very well. There was a very good turnout and we are very grateful.
Among those crossing the waters was Ella Harding, a 17-year-old heterosexual college student.
“I don’t come from a Christian family and I never thought I would ever go to church, but I tried three years ago and the rest is history”, a- she declared.
And Alex Madden, 35, was also among 15 to be baptized. Mr. Madden joined the church following a suicide attempt two years ago.
“Pastor John came and told me about forgiveness from God, since then I have been off drugs, have lost six kilograms of weight and have become a member of the church,” he said. -he declares.
It was also a day of reflection, as it was the first baptismal service Pastor John had conducted in Noddfa without church elder Peter Sweeting, who died earlier this year from Covid-19.
Asked about the change in restrictions, with the move to zero alert in Wales, which means the Noddfa congregation could meet in full for the first time in over a year, Pastor John said : ” It’s fantastic. It was really amazing to be together again.
“Downstairs anyone can come in, but upstairs we always maintain a social distance for those who are nervous about coming back or who are vulnerable.
“It was great to sing again – that’s what we missed the most.”
The church runs a number of initiatives within the community, including homework clubs and youth groups. These will resume from September.
And this Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the doors of the church will be open for its bank of school uniforms – where parents can pick up donated school uniform items.
“Noddfa church is a beacon of hope for our community, on Saturday volunteers from Noddfa church joined me to walk the valley picking up school uniforms to redistribute to needy families in time for September” said Councilor Giles Davies, who also attended the Sunday service
The baptismal service will be on the Noddfa Church YouTube channel for those who were unable to attend.