EIGHT chilly candidates went ahead and were baptised in an open tank in the Quedam shopping centre on a busy Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of people watched as the Christians from the Elim Pentecostal and Yeovil Community Churches told their stories of their religious conversion before they were fully immersed in the water.

The cold temperatures did not put off these new Christians who all emerged from the freezing water with beaming smiles.

Maggie Scott, who became a Christian on an Alpha Course run by the Elim Church and was one of those baptised, said: "This is a declaration of wanting to give my life to God and by doing it in the Quedam, I am showing Jesus how serious I am about living his way for the rest of my life."

Revd Howard Davenport, also from the Elim Church, added: "People taking a public dunking in near freezing temperatures says something about the Christian faith - it's clearly still life changing stuff and not for the faint hearted."

Those baptised were Brian Grimstone, Jonathon Roles, Mell White, Mary Eustace, Claire Snelling, Maggie Scott, Tracy Hallett and Jenny Isaacs.