Friends and family honour 12-year-old boy's sea baptism at Lee-on-the-Solent

For 12-year-old Dexter Lupton, a sea baptism was something he’d wanted to do for months, on his own terms.

By Hollie Busby
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 10:50 am

Born from his own inspiration, having not been baptised as a baby, he wanted to show his commitment to his faith to friends and family and they felt that spring was the perfect time to do it.

Dexter, from Gosport, was eager to tell friends and family in September that this was what he wanted to do.

The whole group was supportive in helping Dexter realise his plans, particularly as he’s been attending church with some of his family members since he was a baby.

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12-year-old Dexter Lupton had a sea baptism on Easter Sunday.

On Easter Sunday Dexter was joined by about 30 of his friends and family to take a dip in the sea for his baptism at 6.45am at Lee-on-the-Solent.

Supported by members of St John the Evangelist Church in Fareham, with a service conducted by the Rev Bruce Deans from the church, Dexter was joined by friends from youth groups including High Tide Youth Service. He was given a baptism by submersion along with his three chosen godparents.

Dexter’s grandma, Sue Lupton, from Fareham, explains: ‘I suppose it’s like an ordinary baptism in terms of the words. The actual baptism is a baptism by submersion. Bruce [the reverend] went in and we took Dexter into the sea to just above knee height.

‘It was a bit unfortunate because it was low tide so we didn’t want to go miles out. He went fully submerged in the water [for a short time] before they came up. We didn’t want to be in the sea too long because it was very cold!’

Dexter Lupton had a sea baptism at lee-on-the-Solent on Easter Sunday.

The family usually goes to the church’s sunrise service every Easter anyway, so to attend Dexter’s baptism at the beach before their usual service was the perfect opportunity to be a part of both in one morning. Dexter was inspired to brace the cold for his own service after being inspired by a video on Facebook showing another young person taking the plunge.

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Godparent, Sue, says: ‘It certainly had been in the planning for a while. We largely did it because it was Dexter’s idea. It’s something that has to be an individual’s choice. His parents aren’t necessarily churchgoers but they support him in what he wants to do.

He hadn’t been baptised as a baby so he thought this was a good opportunity. [Dexter] wanted to show his faith to everybody and that seemed an ideal way of doing it.’

Dexter had a sea baptism at Lee-on-the-Solent.

Following the service, which lasted about 45 minutes, pastries and hot chocolate was laid on by guests to warm themselves up.

Guests came together to sing Dexter’s favourite song, My Lighthouse, after the ceremony before resuming their usual service with St John’s at 10am.