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North of England

Bishop confirms woman 92 years after her baptism

todayMarch 16, 2019 30

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The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, confirmed Dorothy Hopwood from Helmshore in Lancashire – who was then able to take Holy Communion for the first time immediately after.

Hopwood has lived in Helmshore and attended her current church St Thomas’ for her whole life.


She missed out on Confirmation as a youngster because her mother, who was Methodist, attended a different church.

Bishop Philip said: “Jesus Christ is for everyone and it is never too late to say yes to his love. Very often we confirm children as they make promises of faith.

“It has been very beautiful therefore to confirm Dorothy at the age of 92. It is a sign to everyone that Jesus is offering them fullness of life, and it is never too late to say yes to that offer.”


Hopwood’s parish priest, Fr David Stephenson described her as “always a source of fun and always a smiling face”.

Fr Stephenson added: “Dorothy has continued to keep her faith at the centre of her life, although her high regard for the Church and for the Eucharist has meant that she has felt unable to receive Holy Communion, until now of course.


“She is a resident at Raven Croft, a community of mostly elderly folk who live in bungalows and share facilities in their ‘Community Room’. I go in once a month to celebrate the Eucharist for residents, but Dorothy has never felt able to come.

“She was thrilled about the Confirmation and wanted the service to be in the Community Room, which is so important to her and her neighbours. It was there, then, that after waiting for around 80 years, Dorothy received Communion for the first time from Bishop Philip after her Confirmation.”

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A woman has been confirmed in The Church of England 92 years after she was first baptised.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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