When you think of a baptism, the local swimming pool doesn’t immediately spring to mind as the location.
However, for Bega’s Chris and Angela Cheung that’s exactly where Sunday morning’s celebration occurred.
Mr Cheung, head physiotherapist at the South East Regional Hospital, and his wife Angela, are part of the relatively newly formed Grace Church.
He said he had been considering being baptised “for ages” but had never had the opportunity before now.
“I also hadn’t had the importance of baptism brought to my attention previously, but then I saw how significant it was,” Mr Cheung said.
“The Bible explains that if you believe in Jesus, then you need to repent, have belief, and be baptised.
“To me it has no bearing on someone being a good Christian – it’s almost more of a celebration, of being proud.”
Mr Cheung said the method of baptism outlined in the Bible is by full immersion.
Grace Church pastor Dan Riethmuller explained the ritual of baptism by immersion has its roots in the death and resurrection of Jesus and an individual’s demonstration of their following of that teaching.
The body of water wasn’t important as it was not about “cleansing” but a public demonstration and celebration of faith.
He said while it may seem an odd practice, it’s far from unusual in Christian faiths. Only a month or two ago another of his church-goers was baptised at Mogareeka.
The Cheungs looked closer to home.
“We checked out the Bega River, but it was only ankle deep for the most part and not really practical,” Mr Cheung said.
“Mark and Zoe were gracious to open the pool early on Sunday for us though.
“I swim there three or four times a week. To me it’s not really a big deal – it’s not holy water, nothing miraculous happens. It would be nice if it did!”