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Presbyterian Assembly backs baptism 'sprinkling' tradition

The traditional form of baptism by sprinkling water on the person rather than full immersion, which is practised by some other churches, has been backed by the Presbyterian Assembly.

Following an intensive debate last year the Assembly's doctrine committee was ask to produce a report on the subject.

It concluded that: "Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary, but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water, upon the person."

The Church also concluded that "baptistries", which enable full immersion, should not be installed in Presbyterian Church buildings.

The Reverend Dr Stafford Carson, a former Moderator, said: "We believe that many people are confused and unclear about baptism. The challenge of our Baptist friends often goes unanswered, and many Presbyterians remain unconvinced about the biblical basis of our practice.

"While this report is not a fully worked out statement of the Presbyterian doctrine of baptism, it does seek to point to two key figures – the doctine of the Covenant and doctrine of the Church," he added.

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