A family in Horbling recently celebrated the baptism of their child in a very special way as she was baptised in ‘living water’ from the Spring Well in the village.

This wonderful joyful occasion was organised by Father Neil Knox, Interim Priest in Charge in the Billingborough group and Revd Jean Blanchard from the Lafford Deanery.  Many people from the local community joined in the celebration and it also generated other enquiries immediately after the service for similar baptisms in the coming months.

The baby being baptised had several siblings at Brown’s Church of England School in Horbling and they had recently been learning about baptism, and its significance, with Father Knox. As the children had been fascinated by the idea of being baptised he discussed the idea of a living water baptism with the mother and she agreed.

In his teaching they had looked at the baptism of Christ, and others, in the Jordan and Father Neil spoke to them about a piece of early church instruction called the Didache Manuscript. It is also known as ‘The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles’ and is dated by a number of scholars to the first century.

In it, it states ‘7:1 Concerning baptism, baptize in this way: having first rehearsed all these things, baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in living water;’ that being flowing water like a river or stream.

The children were able to make the connection with Christ’s baptism in ‘living water’ and similarly with pictures of Bishop David baptising people in the sea at Cromer rather than purely in the font they had been examining in the Horbling parish church.

The Spring Wells are natural artesian springs and are fed by the Lincolnshire Limestone Aquifer where water bubbles up from the rocks deep below. There are three adjacent well troughs built in 1711 and paid for by the Constables of Horbling.