Today I went to my cousin’s baby’s christening on the far side of south Birmingham. It was a lovely day, where you come away knowing that lots of happy memories have been formed. The day also made me realise three things: (1) I couldn’t be any other denomination than Quaker. The christening service was obviously a crucial part of the day, but I found myself railing against so much of what was said and done. The conceptions of “god”, Jesus etc being expressed were so far removed from my own feelings that it only reinforced my severe doubts as to whether I’d call myself a Christian or not. (2) My family are now an important part of my life in a way that I would never have imagined several years ago. The ties that bind an extended family are such a strange, unnameable force. I don’t know what it is that supports the sense of connection, but whatever it is, it seems to be growing stronger as my generation watches the next begin to flourish. (3) Maybe I would like children of my own. I’m not saying definitely, but I’m certainly beginning to sense that I’d like to create a new sub-section of my own within my family. Although this may only be because all five little ones today were impeccably behaved – especially the newly christened baby who, after being bounced by me in a very vigorous song with actions, managed to hold his sick until I passed him back to his mother. God bless him indeed.

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