In the early
church and in the New Testament, becoming a Christian usually involved a single
ceremony for adults and perhaps their families. The ceremony involved cleansing
and renewal (being baptised in water) and strengthening for the Christian life
by receiving God’s Holy Spirit.
Over centuries this unified rite became split into two. Baptism, usually done when a very young baby, was done by the parish priest. This was then “confirmed”, usually when a young adult, by the laying on of hands and giving of the Holy Spirit by the bishop. The Confirmation was seen as the young adult making the commitment to follow Christ for themselves which had been made on their behalf at their baptism when they were babies.
Whilst nowadays many people are still baptised as babies, many are not. Now, therefore, often baptism and Confirmation take place at the same time. In addition, many people do not take the decision to be confirmed until later in life - this can bring a real richness of experience to the commitment of Confirmation - relating one’s own experience of life to an understanding of the Christian faith and the saving power of Christ.
Confirmation groups in the United Parish meet as and when the need arises and will usually be tailored to meet the needs of the people concerned.
There will be at least one Confirmation service a year within the Odiham Deanery.
If you would like to explore the possibility of being confirmed or would like to know more, please contact the parish clergy (details here).