The small north east parish of St John Fisher, Sedgefield, is preparing to become the focus of a national celebration now that Downing Street has confirmed that baby Leo Blair is to be baptised in the same Catholic church, and by the same priest, as his two older brothers and older sister.
   Fr John Caden, who has known Tony and Cherie Blair since 1982 and has partnered Tony on the tennis court, said he was delighted that the family would be returning to their constituency parish for the ceremony.
   Father Caden recalled the days when the Prime Minister -- who is not a Catholic -- would read the scriptures during Mass while his wife stayed at the back of the church with the children.
   "Cherie was very much the little mother at the back of the church with the children," he said. "Tony was only a backbencher when I baptised the other three babies in my church here.
   Father Caden continued: "Here in the constituency we're absolutely delighted by the news. I am sure the Prime Minister realizes the pride people have here in him and Cherie knows the great love and affection people have for her."
24 May 00


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