Via Skype to New Zealand: A baptism in Keighley

A CHURCH used technology at a baptism to allow a godparent in New Zealand to take part in the service in real time.

Janet and Chris Wordley had arranged for their baby, Matthew, to be baptised at St Mark’s, Utley, near Keighley, on Sunday and Mrs Wordley was keen for her sister Yvonne to be godparent but there was a slight problem – she lives on the other side of the world.

So the church set up a Skype computer link for the morning service, which took place at 10.30am UK time, 9.30pm in New Zealand.

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Yvonne was able to watch the whole event live with her fiancé Dion, and was even able to make the promises and responses along with the parents.

Derek Walmsley, the vicar who performed the baptism, said yesterday: “I’ve baptised lots of children but this was certainly a first.

“It’s always fun – and something of a challenge – trying to hold the baby over the font, pour the water, get the names correct and say the right words, but making sure it’s all in camera shot makes it even more interesting!”

Mrs Wordley, speaking after the service, said: “We’re really delighted that the link worked.

“My sister is such a great distance away and it was a long way for her to come.

“This way she was able to see everything and even take part. And members of the family were able to chat to her after the service too.”