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Baptism services may omit 'Devil'

The Church of England is to debate "shorter, clearer" liturgy for use at baptism services.

Members of the General Synod meeting in York will discuss a proposed new service which removes references to rejecting the Devil in favour of a requirement for the parents and god parents to say that they "turn away from sin" and "reject evil".

The changes are designed to help people attending the services who may not have any previous connection to the Church.

A report for the Church's Liturgical Commission said: "Clergy frequently find themselves conducting baptisms for 'un-churched' families, sometimes at services separate from the main Sunday morning act of worship.

"On these occasions there may be a few people present who have a developed understanding of the Church's language and symbolism.

"For the majority of those attending, the existing provision can seem complex and inaccessible."

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