YOUNGSTERS turned out in their best outfits for a Christening service with a difference.
Jesmond Road Primary School, in Hartlepool, staged three mock baptisms while pupils learned about religious education.
The “service” was held at St Luke’s Church, in the town’s Tunstall Avenue, and it was conducted by the Reverend Mary Judson from the church.
Around 70 children from Years 1 and 2, aged five and six years old, took part in the ceremony.
“Babies” were played by dolls with sets of “parents” and “godparents” from the three classes.
Maddison McGarry and Ethan Eckersley played the parents from teacher Jo Khelifi’s class.
Their “baby” was christened Luke and godparents were Leah Metcalfe, Christina Lister, Kyle Scott and Jaydn Bennett.
“Parents” Madison Avery and George Pattison, from Laura Monro’s class, showed off their “baby” Olivia, alongside godparents Layla Fitzgerald, Jessica Dodd, Liam Marshall and Luke Boland.
Trinity Bowan and Corben Montgomery beamed as their “baby” Kayleigh was baptised, as proud godparents Evie Robinson, Bethany Graham, Aden Murray and Llayten Collins looked on.
Rev Judson baptised each baby with real holy water and the parents and godparents repeated vows that they would bring up the babies to the best of their ability.
Some of the pupils’ parents also attended the ceremony to see how the youngsters enjoyed the experience.
Cathryn Huskisson, the school’s social inclusion assistant, said: “Rev Judson tried to make the service as authentic as possible for the children.
“The children picked the names of the babies and the reverend came into school on Monday and brought holy water and real candles that godparents would carry.
“She told them all about what goes on during a christening or baptism.
“The service was a good insight for all the children into how baptism works and it all tied in with their religious education.”