Photo credit: Indy Biddulph
In a host of special services across the diocese, 79 people of all ages were confirmed on Sunday 20 November on the Feast Day of Christ the King.
At St Andrew’s Church in Sonning, the Bishop of Oxford confirmed 28 people from a variety of church backgrounds. The group of 12 adults and 16 young people ranged in age from the youngest at age 11 to the eldest at 83 years old.
The Revd Katie Toogood, Associate Vicar of St Andrew’s Church, led the preparation classes for the adults who were confirmed. Following the service, she shared:
“It has been amazing to see God at work in the lives of so many people and it has been a privilege to be a part of their journeys. I led the preparation classes for the 12 adults, and we are planning to carry on meeting as a group.
“I know that our Youth Minister, Chris West, felt similarly as he prepared our young people for confirmation, 5 of whom were baptised in the River Thames a few weeks earlier. They are also continuing to meet as a group.”
The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, confirmed 34 people at All Saints, Boyne Hill, and 14 young people at Wellington College. Among those in Boyne Hill, were 18 Iranian asylum seekers, who have been a vibrant addition to the congregation this year. Bishop Olivia said:
“The bishops confirmed 79 wonderful and unique people this weekend, each one with their own story. Each candidate had given very serious thought to taking the step of confirmation and committing their life to following Jesus. It is a joy to see the action of the Holy Spirit in each person’s life, and to celebrate this with their friends and families supporting and praying for them.
“It is a great delight and encouragement to see people of all ages coming to faith in a range of church settings, God is alive and well across the breadth of the Church of England!”
At St Mary Magdalen in Oxford, Bishop Humphrey Southern baptised a third-year undergraduate at the University of Oxford and confirmed two other members of the university. In his sermon, to the multigenerational congregation, Bishop Humphrey reflected on the themes of duty, obedience, and sacrifice as vocational in the context of the kingship, and the recent events in the country and a challenged world.
What is confirmation?
Confirmation is an important part of the journey of the Christian faith. Many people who were christened as a child go on to confirmation – a chance to ‘confirm’ their baptism promises – when they have grown up.
Once a person has learned the faith for the first time and come to baptism and confirmation, then year by year that faith and understanding are deepened within the framework of the great story of salvation lived out and expressed in our liturgy. The story is revisited over and over again at different stages of life and of faith development.
Find out more about confirmation by visiting the Church of England website, and do speak to your vicar to find out more.