A baby has been christened in a 120-year-old gown – first worn in the same ceremony by her great-great-great-grandmother.
Neveah McGailey-Baker was christened in front of four generations of the McGailey family, all of whom had previously been christened wearing the historic garment.
The gown, initially used for Church of England ceremonies, was converted when Theresa’s grandmother married a Catholic Irishman – and the garment was converted.
Proud parents and stay-at-home mum Tabitha, 21, and 21-year-old Perry Baker, a factory worker, looked on as Neveah was christened at Holly Rood Catholic Church in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Grandmum Theresa, 49, said: “It is very special. My children were christened in it, I was, and my mum was. Six of my grandchildren were christened in it.
“I’m looking forward to maybe their children wearing it as well.
“My nan loves the tradition – it is something that has been passed down and looked after.”
The garment is so delicate that Theresa had her worries seeing Neveah wear it. She said: “I am nervous when they’re wearing it.
“It is in pretty good condition, considering it’s so old. My mum has looked after it so well, and it’s in pretty good nick.”
While marveling at the history that the christening gown will have seen over the course of a life beginning in the 19th century, Father Dominic Findlay-Wilson was pleased to see the traditions around baptism being observed.
He said: “It shows that people take it seriously, it’s the most important sacrament. We always say the day of baptism is more important than your birthday, and this was a herald to that.
“For me it was like the essence of a baptism. It was the tradition and the sacrament, which showed how important a role it plays in people’s lives.”