Last Sunday (8th July 2012) I did something I’d never thought I’d do in the first 56 years of my life – I was confirmed in an Anglican church. Traditionally confirmation is a service where people who have been baptised as children confirm that they have grown up and accepted that faith as their own but for me it was slightly different so I thought I’d explain why I, having been baptised in a Baptist church in my teens, thought it was right for me.
Firstly I did want to confirm my faith. A year ago my wife and I moved church from the Baptist church I was carried into as a baby and where I met and married my wife. You will understand that it was not an easy decision to make but a series of events had made it clear that we could not remain in communion with some of the people there. The last few years have not been very easy for me in both physical and mental health and being forced out from my birth church had a negative impact on me. All through this time my faith, although battered, survived and the confirmation service gave me an opportunity to affirm this in public.
Secondly my confirmation was a sign that I had committed myself to that particular part of God’s church; in this case St George The Martyr, Shirley. This was not the first church we had attended after leaving our home church but, when attempts at reconciliation failed, both my wife and I suddenly felt this was where we were meant to be. I cannot tell you if we will be there for a short or long time but it is the right place for us for the foreseeable future.
Finally it was also a Thank You to St Georges for making us so welcome and accepting us into membership; more people talk to me after each service than at my old church despite only having a lot less members. Although we have not joined the choir we have sung with them at special services and they have even been brave enough to let me play guitar in the few services that have a small music group playing.