CHRISTIANS have taken part in a traditional Easter ceremony in front of York Minster.

Eight people were dunked under water three times as they were baptised.

Hundreds of excited people gathered to watch the religious ceremony take place on the steps of the cathedral's south entrance, led by The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Glyn Webster.

Sisters Miriam Griffin, nine, and Hannah Griffin, seven, from Clifton Parish, were the youngest to be baptised, and were joined by Jenny Barker, from Heworth.

A soaking wet Mrs Barker, 53, spoke to The Press after she had been submerged in the water.

She said: "It was a fabulous experience.  

"I've never felt anything like it before but I can't explain it.  It was just amazing."

This service of baptism marks the tenth anniversary of Easter baptisms which are organised by One Voice York, a network of Christian churches and leaders of different denominations working together across the city.

Tom Forrester, 29, from Acomb, was baptised a year after discovering Christianity.

He added: "I was a bit unsure about this at first but when the Bishop mentioned it would be done in front of witnesses I felt that made it right.

"It was alright in the water but once I got out I could feel the cold against my back."

Graham Hutchinson, chairman of Once Voice York, said: "Although different churches have different styles and emphasise different parts of faith, the Christian church in York is known far and wide for how well they work together.

"Baptism is hugely important to a Christian: it is when they commit to following Jesus for the rest of their lives.  

"These Easter baptisms are always a highlight of my year, as Christians from different denominations come together to welcome new believers in the family of God."