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Local Pastor Makes A Splash
It may surprise you to hear that Alex Lyell, pastor of Streatham Central Church (SCC), will be baptised into his own church on Sunday 11 June. The pastor, 35, who is also the new chair of Love Streatham – a charity run by local churches - was christened as a baby, but has now chosen to be baptised as an adult.
When asked ‘why now?’ Alex grinned in his usual cheery manner, “Baptism is just a picture, so it’s ok that Christians differ on age or quantity of water. I’ve come to believe that it’s a powerful picture of how we identify with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. When I go down into the water it’s a sign that my independent-self died with Jesus as he paid for my sin on the cross. And when I come out of the water it’s a sign of rising to new life with Jesus, who is my real identity now.”
“The churches I happily served in for 15 years believed in baptising babies, so I didn’t want to undermine the leaders I respect. But now I get to be part of the picture along with other members of our church who are getting baptised.”
Although SCC normally meet on Sunday afternoons at Streatham Youth and Ccommunity Trust’s Wellfield Road site, Alex will be baptised (for obvious practical reasons!) at Streatham Baptist Church on Lewin Road. Alex says, “I’m hugely grateful to Phil Robinson, SBC’s pastor, who’s become a real friend through Love Streatham, and he’s going to baptise me, which is a loving expression of unity and partnership between churches!”
Love Streatham recently teamed up with Streatham Action to co-host Streatham’s largest election hustings, which Alex compèred, and he will be co-hosting Love Streatham’s biggest gathering of the year, ‘Church on the Common’ on 16th July.
The baptism service is open to visitors whatever their beliefs or backgrounds (3.30pm, 11 June, Streatham Baptist Church) and will feature filmed stories from the other church members who are getting baptised, including the son of former West Indian cricket captain, Alvin Kallicharan.
Streatham Central Church - StreathamChurch.com | Love Streatham - LoveStreatham.org