Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 12:41 UK

Solar-powered baptisms at church

Heaton Baptist Church
Donations paid for Heaton Baptist Church's new Life Centre

A church in Newcastle is to offer solar-powered baptisms.

Heaton Baptist Church's Life Centre has had solar panels installed on the roof, which will be used to warm the water for people being baptised.

The panels will also be able to provide heating for the baptistry of the adjoining church.

Most of the £1m cost of the new centre, which has two halls, rooms for small groups, a crèche, and offices for church staff, came from donations.

Heaton Baptist Church baptizes dozens of people each year, including an annual summer baptism in the rather cooler waters of the North Sea at Whitley Bay.

Mark Elder, Heaton Baptist Church's senior pastor, said: "I love it when ordinary people meet with our amazing God, and nowhere is this more evident than in the life-changing waters of baptism."



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