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‘It’s been amazing’: Russell Brand thanks Bear Grylls for helping baptise him in River Thames

by Heather Preston

Actor and comedian Russell Brand has thanked Christian TV personality Bear Grylls for helping baptise him in the River Thames last week, in a video reflecting on his “first week as a Christian.”

Brand became friends with the Christian adventurer through their television work and last year joined him on a trip across the Hebrides for the reality TV series Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

Addressing his 4 million Instagram followers, Christian convert Brand described the last seven days following his immersion as “amazing.”

“The ceremony itself was incredible. I want to thank Bear Grylls and my mate Joe – the two men that stood either side of me and flanked me for the baptism itself,” he said on social media.

Last year, Brand was accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by four women following a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4's Dispatches.

Brand has denied the allegations, which he described as “appalling” and “very hurtful.”

Reflecting on his conversion, Brand described the “amazing gift” of faith he has discovered, which has changed his perspective on life and its meaning.

He said knowing God is a recognition that “my life isn’t about me.”

“I’ve been caught up in an illusion; I’ve been lost completely in self. And, now I must learn to untether myself from the tendrils of selfishness, egotism and self-centeredness and awaken to something greater.

“The Christianity I’m learning about is a precursor to a way of understanding consciousness and reality, very clearly.

“Week one now, and it’s been a beautiful week.”

The political activist has publicly explored and promoted elements of various spiritual philosophies and religions in his journey of faith, which has led some Christians to question the validity of his belief in Christ. Following his Christian baptism, Brand posted a video on social media discussing tarot cards and questioning whether it was ok to “meddle in the occult arts.”

Others have argued that Brand is simply young in his faith and in need of discipleship.

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