Photo: Edward Condry

Confirmations increase after introduction of bread baking to classes

Sun 21 May 2017
By Premier Journalist

The Bishop of Ramsbury has brought in bread baking, wall climbing and film sessions to their confirmation classes and has seen an increase in attendance. 

The Right Reverend Dr Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury, has led the efforts and said, “Confirmation was once seen as a graduation ceremony but now it’s seen as a public affirmation and a step on a pilgrimage”.

Since the start of the project, 546 confirmations took place in 2015, 551 took place in 2016 and this year, 362 people have been confirmed in the diocese since January with another 30 due to take part in ceremonies over the next six weeks

In Christianity, Confirmation can be defined as the sealing of the covenant created in Holy Baptism. It is seen as a sacrament in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches and is administered by a bishop when a child reaches the ’age of reason’ or early adolescence.

The number of confirmations in the Church of England dramatically dropped by almost half over a 10 year period.  There were 16,700 recorded in 2015 but 29,800 in 2005.  However, in 2015, 44,000 couples married in the Church and 120,000 adults and children were baptised.

The Diocese of Salisbury is enjoying an uptake in interest after bringing in the new hobbies to the classes. The classes give students an opportunity to ask tricky questions about faith

The Observer reports that there’s an increase in older people wanting to be confirmed also.  A church member in their 90s was confirmed by Dr Condry in her care home.  A member also took part after coming to the church for 50 years.

Dr Condry added, “I think rituals are really important. In life, there are not enough rituals. This is something positive that the church can offer.”

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