Florence's christening

The Baptism of Florence Catherine Broadbent

The WIndsor Parish Church

On Sunday May 1st, our darling daughter Florence Catherine Broadbent was baptised at the wonderful Windsor Parish Church of St John the Baptist in the heart of Windsor marking one of the most memorable and joyful days of our lives.

The Windsor Parish Church The Windsor Parish Church The Windsor Parish Church

The Windsor Parish Church The Windsor Parish Church stained glass windows-The Windsor Parish Church

I cried three times during the service yet Florence miracously didn’t cry at all, and now I’m weeping all over again writing this piece about her special day.

Florence's christening day

The Windsor Parish Church on High Street, Windsor holds great signifcance to me as it is where my sons, Oliver and Alexander and I have lit candles and prayed for those no longer with us, including my late much-loved Aunt Zack, Xander’s godmother, and my grandmothers Annetta and Vikentia. It was where I prayed to conceive my third baby (which I sadly lost) and where I returned to pray, hoping for a rainbow baby.

Reverand Sally christening Florence at the church felt like I’d come full circle. A dream come true. An answered prayer.

Bamboo Flowers' flower display

Bamboo Flowers' flower display Bamboo Flowers' flower display lighting candles at The Windsor Parish Church

lighting candles at The Windsor Parish Church lighting candles at The Windsor Parish Church

The Windsor Parish

congregation

congregation The Windsor Parish Church

Baptism Christening baptism

Reverand Sally, The Windsor Parish Church

Baptising Florence was giving thanks.

The christening of Florence Catherine Broadbent

Surrounded by an intimate party of close family and friends, most of us coincidentally colour co-ordinated in navy (!) with Florence’s godmothers, Rachael, who I’ve known since I was 16 when we met at Sixth Form bonding over our love of art and talking (!) remaining firm friends ever since, and Juliet (Juliet McGrattan), doctor, and fellow author and blogger who I met thanks to this welcoming online world, made for a ceremony full of unconditional love for our little girl.

Baby's christening

godparents the christening service

baptism

The ceremony was beautiful, the church filled with hymns and happiness.

the baptism congregation

Soon it was time to proceed to the font for the baptism with more tears from me!

the baptism

the font at The Windsor Parish Church

christening

baptism baptism

lighting a candle in the Windsor Parish Church

I love that Florence is grinning as widely as her godmothers in this photo below. She must know how lucky she is to have them to guide and love her.

the godmothers

It was also poignant that my own godfather Marinos (far right in the red tie) was able to be there and that some of my closest family members and oldest friends could join us too.

christening

It wasn’t just Florence’s special day either as once she was baptised, Xander renewed his own christening vows with my lovely cousin Vasos stepping in to the role of godfather after we lost Xander’s godmother, mine and Vasos’ Auntie Zak. Seeing Xander being blessed with the same holy water Florence was baptised with was incredibly moving.

Xander's renewal of his baptism vows renewal of baptism vows

The ceremony ended with great laughter and applause as Reverend Sally sprinkled water over the whole congregation as we stood around the font.

baptism

blessings in Church at Florence's baptismHuge heartfelt thanks to Reverand Sally for making the day so touching and thanks to my friends Anca and Iochim, founders of the multi-award winning Bamboo Flowers for the magnificent floral displays they kindly gifted us. They were so beautiful.

Anca cuddles Florence below.

cuddle

Warmest thanks too to Fuse Communications who kindly arranged two gifted outfits for Florence (with Royal favourites, no less): Annafie‘s hand embroided and smocked Royal Christening Gown with bonnet for the service and Rachel Riley‘s adorable Strawberry Smocked Dress for the reception. Simply gorgeous, both.

christening gown by Annafie

family

Pretty shawl is is c/o  G.H. Hurt & Son. I love this sweet photo of the boys in blue with their little girl (who’s fast asleep here)!

Then it was on to the reception, family members kindly brandishing the flowers.

flowers

sweet

leaving the church walking to Enzo's

A short walk away on the famous Peascod Street, dinner in Florence’s honour was hosted at renowned Italian eaterie, Enzo’s Italian restaurant.

With a sumptous menu to suit all tastes and requirements from grilled anitpasta to chicken arrabbiata and slow roasted seabass, creamy pasta dishes and woodfired pizzas, it was a fine feast for us all.

Thanks too to the talented Kerry of The Berkshire Bakesmith for the majestic christening cake of dreams which was a vegan and gluten free chocolate marvel!

Both Enzo’s and Kerry insisted on a kind discount as a gift for Florence we were grateful for.

Photos taken outside Enzo’s below were taken at the end of the meal with Florence’s third outfit change: sleepwear and I removed my heels for flat loafers!

Enzo's restaurant, Windsor

family

But back to the meal from the start which was utterly glorious!

Italian platters

family

Enzo's

seabass

spaghetti

brothers kids' tablepizza

Alexander kids' tabledinner cute food

friend cuddles baby

friend feeds baby her bottle

reception

Christening cake by The Berkshire Bakesmith

Christening cake

happy Florence

cutting the cake

Dad

Everyone’s generosity meant so much to us.

sweet Florence

Special thanks to Phoebe of Phoebe Gilder Photography, the exceptional photographer behind these stunning cinematic shots of the day.

We greatly appreciated her presence, talent and hard graft. She put us all at ease and it was sweet to discover she’s half Greek Cypriot too, just like my children!

family

What a sweet, swet day!

brother holds his sister

Mum cuddles her baby Daddy kisses his baby

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