When it comes to baptism there is a profound disconnect between what churches and clergy understand it to mean and the understanding of those non-churchgoing families seeking the rite for their children. Clergy and regular churchgoers feel that the church is being used and abused by families seeking a baptism, when they perceive them to be looking for �just an excuse for a party�. On the other hand, families seeking a christening in their local churches are baffled by the lack of enthusiasm and encouragement they find when they approach their local church.�
Using a new interdisciplinary approach to practical theology, A Rite on the Edg
e, reflects theologically on the findings of research conducted by Sarah Lawrence into baptism in the Church of England and in English culture more widely, using insights and research methods from corpus linguistics.�
It offers a profound challenge for those struggling to comprehend how �outsiders� understand baptism. More fundamentally, it asks how the Church of England can remain �present and available for all� at a time of heightened tensions and confused expectations about who the church is �for�.