On Saturday 1 November, 116 Christians from across the Church of England diocese of Bath & Wells were confirmed at Wells Cathedral by the Bishops of Bath & Wells and Taunton.
Those being confirmed ranged in age from under 18 to over 80 and four people were also baptised. Candidates travelled from as far as Watchet to be part of the special service.
The decision to hold a diocesan-wide event signals a change from recent years, when all confirmation services have been held in local churches.
Bishop of Bath & Wells, Rt Revd Peter Hancock said, “What a joyous day. For those we have confirmed and their families, Wells Cathedral is such a special and fitting place to mark such a significant moment in their Christian discipleship.”
“We hope the service and worship also gave them a sense of being part of a much bigger family as they stood in fellowship with over 100 others from across Somerset. We were overwhelmed by the response from parishes,” he adds.
In a change from traditional confirmation liturgy and worship, the baptisms involved the entire congregation as they were sprinkled with water to remind them of their own baptism. And at the close of the service, each of the newly-confirmed was presented with a lighted candle before being led out to the West Front on Cathedral Green to meet their family and other supporters.
Confirmation is a person’s public affirmation of their commitment to a life with Christ. If it follows infant baptism, it marks the point that the person is ready to confirm themselves the declarations made on their behalf by their parents and Godparents or Sponsors.
The positive response to this confirmation service means that the diocese plans two such cathedral services for 2015, with parishes still being offered the option of a local, deanery-based service if they prefer.
Find us on Facebook to see images from the event