On the penultimate evening of Lent term, 24 Epsomians were confirmed in St Luke’s Chapel by the Right Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking. Due to the pandemic this was the first confirmation service in the Diocese of Guildford since February 2020 and it was the largest cohort to be confirmed in the Chapel for many years.
The Government Covid rules were followed to the letter, but this regretfully meant that only those from the family bubble were able to attend – and no congregational singing was able to place. However, there was a real sense of celebration and spiritual warmth throughout the service. Godparents and other family members unable to attend were able to watch the service later as it was recorded.
The Sixth Form Chapel Choir beautifully sang two anthems, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by John Rutter and Ave Verum by Mozart.
This year those confirmed were prepared by the Senior Chaplain remotely in small groups each week. Canon Haviland said, “Although it initially felt a bit strange as we could not meet in my office with hot chocolate and biscuits, it worked remarkably well.”
Throughout the term the candidates discussed what it means to be Christian in the 21st Century. One of the main objectives was to talk about God, the significance of Jesus and how his message of love has been revealed to our world. They looked at how Christians should respond to this good news. One of the main aims of the course was to empower the candidates to question and not be satisfied with easy or trite answers.
Those confirmed included four former pupils and a member of the congregation of St Martin’s Church, Epsom: the local parish church.
Bishop Jo was joined at the service by the Senior Chaplain, the Assistant Chaplain, Mrs Rebecca Catterall, and Associate Chaplains, the Revd Canon Adrian Esdaile and Mr Graeme Lodge LLM. The Headmaster read from St Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 3: 12-17.
Canon Haviland commented, “It was wonderful and empowering to see the candidates making public their decision to continue their spiritual discernment with open and enquiring minds. May God bless them on their journey of faith and give us grace to support and pray for them.”
A service of confirmation takes place annually in St Luke’s Chapel at the end of the Lent Term. If anyone is interested in finding out a little more about confirmation, Canon Haviland and the Chaplaincy team would be delighted to hear from them.