THE Archbishop of York is set to baptise Christians outside York Minster on Saturday by immersing them in a large tank of water.

Dr John Sentamu, who will enter the water himself along with other local church leaders, is planning to maintain an Easter tradition which now goes back nine years.

He said he thought those coming forward to be baptised were 'truly brave, making this commitment in front of the whole City of York, in the Yorkshire spring weather!"

He said: “This is the ninth year of our outdoor baptisms, but each year is an exciting occasion. Every year is different, because every year we hear different stories of why people are committing their lives to Jesus Christ.

"No-one’s story is the same, people come to know God in many different ways, but there is always one element running through every story: these people have discovered that God loves them unconditionally, and they want to publicly commit their lives to Jesus Christ."

The service of baptism, which starts at 2.30pm, has been organised by One Voice York, a network of Christian churches and leaders of different denominations working together across the city.

The joint chair of One Voice York, Graham Hutchinson, will ask each person and all those watching to affirm their faith before the baptisms. When the candidates come out of the water they will be prayed for by all the church leaders.

He said: “Although different churches put emphasis on different parts of faith, we are all part of the same family of Jesus Christ.

"Baptism is one of the most important points in a Christian’s life: it’s when they commit to following Jesus.

"These Easter Baptisms are always a highlight of my year, as Christians from different denominations come together to welcome new believers into Jesus’ family.”

*Drier and milder weather is forecast for Easter Saturday after a mostly windy and chilly week.