The former Bishop of St Albans Diocese, The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert presided over a wonderful service of Confirmation and First Holy Communion, in St Luke’s Chapel on Wednesday evening of this week. For the 11 Epsom candidates, the service marked the culmination of three months of careful preparation in the Confirmation activity every Tuesday afternoon.
Bishop Christopher encouraged the candidates during his sermon that in being confirmed and openly declaring their Christian faith they were indeed making a bold move. Confirmation, he reminded them, followed on from their baptism as part of a continuing journey that would take them through life.
Confirmation, he said, “marks the point in the Christian journey at which the participation in the life of God’s people, begun at baptism, is confirmed by the Bishop by the laying on of hands.”
He went on to reference the Epistle reading from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, read by Mrs Rebecca Catterall, Assistant Chaplain, that they were to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power” always.
The Epsom College candidates this year were:
- Chinda Ekeh (F)
- Kevin Gyamfi (P)
- Thea Haigh (R)
- Freddie Hall (Wa)
- Caroline Lansdown (Wh)
- Nicole Lohani (R)
- Cosmo Mullen (P)
- Felix Porter (H)
- Allegra Sheen (Cr)
- Charlotte Thesiger (R)
- Albert Wong (H)
The pupils have been carefully tutored by a combination of Senior Chaplain, Canon Paul Thompson; Associate Chaplain, Canon Adrian Esdaile; alongside Lay Chaplain, Mrs Rebecca Catterall. The subjects covered in preparation ranged from the biblical narrative, through to the history and organisation of the Christian church, history, prayer and many other areas of specific theological enquiry.
As in the past few years it was a joy to be able to welcome one young confirmation candidate from the parish of St Martin’s of Tours, Epsom:, Lucy Jolie Deville. Lucy was presented to the Bishop by the Revd. David Candlin, Curate of the Parish.
The Chapel Choir led the congregational hymn singing with real confidence throughout the service. Many in the congregation commented on the wonderful intoning of the chosen anthem Vox Christi (Voice of Christ) arr. Philip Wilby, (words based on St Matthew 28:18-20) which was sung during the distribution of Holy Communion.
The retiring offertory collection was taken to support the work of the Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund which seeks to assist local projects in need.
The pre-confirmation supper with candidates, family, friends and common room, proved to be as popular as ever. Everyone was well fed and watered ahead of the service in Chapel, courtesy of Epsom’s Catering Department. Main Hall was buzzing with chatter, laughter and lots of activity. It also enabled Bishop Christopher to chat openly and freely before the service itself with all in attendance. He also spent time blessing Confirmation gifts to the candidates and signing books and certificates as well.
It was truly a special evening and a memorable occasion all round.