Continuing in the fellowship
Posted: 03 Aug 2012 @ 00:22
This is an excellent confirmation gift for young people, says
Living your Confirmation: Putting promises into
Pete Maidment and Paul Butler
Church Times Bookshop £7.20 (Use code CT225 - free postage
on UK online orders during August)
OF ALL the dates in a bishop's diary, I imagine the least
stressful, perhaps even the most enjoyable, to be the visits to
parishes for confirmation services.
Confirmation is a rite of passage that looks both to the past
and to the future. Godparents can watch, and feel a sense of
fulfilment that part of the baptismal promise has been kept.
Rightly, a celebration of the past is an integral part of the
occasion. "God has called you by name" speaks to us of the past
occasion when we were first welcomed into the Church, and of the
present, when our identity is acknowledged publicly.
But what next? The ten chapters in this new, sparky confirmation
guide work through the promises made for the future in the
commission section of every confirmation service.
Each chapter takes one of the promises, and, together with a
reflective comment from the Rt Revd Paul Butler (who is the Bishop
of Southwell & Nottingham), the reader will find useful
Four of the chapters arise from the very first sentence in the
commission. We are called on to continue (perhaps the most
important verb in the confirma- tion service) "in the apostles'
teaching, and fellowship, and in the breaking of the bread, and in
The reader is given a chance to reflect on what each promise
means in the context of the 21st century; and each chapter
concludes with "react". In other words, actions speak louder than
Since the commonest age for confirmation is in the 10-14-years
range, this slim, attractively produced volume is aimed at that age
bracket. The Christian groups to which the book refers are all in
the younger age category. The Fresh Expressions of church speak
enthusiastically of "church outdoors at a skate park".
The book, best described, therefore, as a post-confirmation
guide, will be the ideal text for a confirmation follow-up course
in church youth-groups. And, as supporters of a confirmation
candidate usually wish to hand over some kind of gift to mark the
occasion, this little book fills a gap in the market admirably.
Dennis Richards is a former headmaster of St Aidan's C of E
High School in Harrogate.