Sunday was a special day for a young man who is a member of the youth church at All Saints Church. He received holy communion for the first time, having attended church with family and taken part in youth church activities for several months.
All Saints is one of the growing numbers of Church of England churches who, with the permission of their bishop, admit children and young people to holy communion on the basis of having been baptised and having expressed a desire and a commitment to take a full part in the Eucharist by receiving holy communion. The previous tradition in which the ceremony of Confirmation was the gateway to receiving holy communion is giving way to a practice seen as more inclusive and spiritually sensitive. Confirmation remains an important ceremony in the Church of England, when church members may publically affirm their full ownership as adults of their Christian faith and receive prayer and blessing from their local bishop for the empowering of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Later in the year, we are looking forward to the confirmation by the Bishop of Oxford, of one of the adult members of the church, a young mother with a growing family.