by Jane Hodges.
As I write this I feel a smile break across my face as I recall the wonderful confirmation service at All Saints on Sunday 22nd June. Bishop Adrian joined us to confirm 20 candidates from both churches. This joyful service was a really great example of our two churches coming together to worship God and to celebrate.
The confirmation service is a powerful witness to God at work in all of our lives, and most especially in those making this step of faith. As the candidates recalled their own baptismal promises we are also called upon to be true to our own baptism; and Bishop Adrian made sure that we all got a very real reminder of that as he liberally sprinkled the entire congregation with water from the font! As Bishop Adrian confirmed the candidates, he called each of them by name, and prayed ‘Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit’. This act of confirmation marks each candidate’s commitment to follow Christ and our trust that the Holy Spirit will inspire and enable them to live out that commitment.
Please pray for those who have just been confirmed: Dean, Taylor, Emma, Ashley, Tessa, Katie, Kaisey, Jimmy, Jackie, Terry, Carrie, Ian, Mark, Melissa, Carol, Laura, Gemma, Jana, Adwoa and Jade.
When they met together after the confirmation each person wrote a few words about the significance of the Quiet day and Confirmation service for them:
“I actually feel that I am a part of something now; I can proudly say I’m part of a family”
“The power of what happened makes you realise that Church is more than just ritual, the atmosphere is different now among us, we have come together”
“Friends and family have commented that people here are so amazing, so welcoming and friendly. One of my friends said she will start to come to our church”
“During the service I saw the beauty of the light coming through the clouds, I saw the sunshine descending reflecting the glory of God”
“We journeyed as friends, we all had different reasons why we wanted to be confirmed – I wanted to be able to help my daughter but through these classes I realised that this is not just for her but now I feel it was more for me. I wish I had invited more family to witness my Confirmation”
“When we first received Communion that was very powerful, we felt we were really part of the family”
“During the Confirmation the Clergy were all full of smiles which encouraged us all and made us feel at ease. The smile of reassurance from the Bishop was great”
“I’ve had a sense of mission since Sunday but I don’t know what it is yet”
“I feel much happier, something has been added to my life. I feel renewed”
“I feel more meditative, reflective, joyful and more at peace”
“Last week I had bad nightmares, but since my Confirmation they have completely gone”
“The quiet day before Confirmation was very powerful. The important symbolism of putting out candles to represent the ways in which we have turned away from Christ, and the relighting of them to represent our desire to come back to him was so moving”
“At the end of the quiet day the burning of the pieces of paper with our sins written on was so powerful. I left felling a sense of relief, it was as if a huge burden had been lifted”
“The whole thing has been mind opening especially Saturday the impact of burning our sins left both me and my sponsor in tears. It has been a tough week but I felt a little more strength to deal with it and realise that is coming from God. My whole way of thinking has completely changed through this process”
“I felt on Saturday God gave me the courage to read out aloud, I am dyslexic”
“I have been more inspired to read the bible, and have been reading everyday since Sunday, that was a great gift from the church – thank you”
“I was nervous before the Confirmation, but as soon as the Bishop put his hands on my head I felt calm, all my nerves were quenched”
“I feel truly forgiven and lifted”