Historic Christening shell is back in the limelight

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A SILVER Christening shell donated to Newstead’s church more than 60 years ago is back in use — after mysteriously falling out of favour.

The special item, which is used by a vicar to pour the Holy Water during a Christening, was presented to St Mary’s in the village in the 1940s by the well-known Moss family.

Amy and George Moss donated the shell in memory of their daughter, Christine Anne, who died at the age of four.

It was used in several Christenings but as time went by, it was left on the wayside.

No-one at the church on Musters Road seemed to know were it had gone.

Karen Moss, who is the wife of Amy and George’s son, Philip, said: “It is a very special item but I knew nothing about it until a few years ago.

“It is just great that the shell is now being used again and will play a key part in so many Christenings in the future.”

It wasn’t until seven years ago that the family asked the question what had happened to the shell. It was when Karen’s grandson, Ben, was scheduled to be Christened.

Amy asked why the shell wasn’t around and it prompted the family to launch an investigation. The church’s then vicar, the Rev Linda Church, was asked about the shell but knew nothing about it.

Three years later, a church warden disclosed that the shell had been discovered, locked away, in a church safe.

The family were able to tell Amy, before she died in 2008, that the shell had been found.

It was used last month in a double Christening for the Moss family of Karen’s grandsons, Ashton, who is the son of Karen’s daughter, Rachel Woodward, and Jamie, son of Karen’s son, Christopher Moss.

“We are all just pleased it has been found and will once again be used at Newstead’s church,” added Karen. “Apparently it had been stored with a lot of other silver belonging to the church.”

The shell is the Christian symbol of baptism.

OUR PHOTO shows the current vicar, the Rev Liz Turner-Loisel with the shell — DISPIC NHUD3418-1