LONDON – The Anglican Diocese of Southwark has agreed to correct the registered baptism of an atheist who claims he was too young to consent to the ceremony.
John Hunt was just five months old when he was baptized at St. Jude with St. Aidin church in Thornton Heath, south London, in 1953. He decided in his school years, however, that he did not believe in the existence of God and now wants the record of his baptism removed.
The Church of England has consistently argued that it cannot remove Hunt's baptism from its record books altogether because it is the historical recording of an event.
The register of Hunt's baptism will instead remain but a cut-out of an announcement of his "de-baptism" in a London newspaper will be attached to his entry in the register.
The former software engineer is one of more than 100,000 Britons believed by the National Secular Society to have downloaded its "certificate of de-baptism." The parchment certificate is sold by the NSS to people wanting to renounce their church baptism.
Southwark Diocese said this week that Hunt's record would be "corrected," according to The Telegraph.
Hunt commented, "I am delighted that on this occasion the Church are going to do what they said they would do."
"It's about time that some of us stood up to be counted," he added. "I am hoping that others will follow my lead."