Friday last week was a very special occasion in the life of Bennett as a Church of England school. Every second year we offer the opportunity for young people who would like to be confirmed to prepare for confirmation at school and to be confirmed by a visiting bishop in a service at school. This provides a chance for those from small parishes, where there is no opportunity for confirmation, and for those who particularly want to prepare for confirmation with friends from school who may not live near them, to do so.
This year we had a group of twelve young people who took advantage of this opportunity, mostly in years 8 and 9. They undertook a course of preparation led by our school chaplain, Revd Rachael, which started after Christmas. This culminated in Friday evening’s service of confirmation which was led by Bishop James of Rochester who came to us for the occasion.
The service itself was wonderful, and it was a moving and powerful testament to the commitment of young people to see them prepared to make this very public step of maturity in Christian faith and life in front of their parents, and in many cases
grandparents, godparents and other friends and relatives. After together being reminded of their earlier baptism, and jointly renewing their baptismal promises, they knelt individually in front of Bishop James, who then confirmed each young person individually. There was a big smile on their faces when the congregation gave them a round of applause afterwards!
One of the advantages of being confirmed at school is that we benefited from the uplifting music led by our musicians under Mr Showell, the director of music. We finished with a rousing singing of Crown him with many crowns as each young person was handed a lighted candle as a reminder and symbol of the light of Christ shining in their lives.
After the service, each young person left the chapel carrying the lighted candle, and, photos taken, we moved into the small hall to cut the confirmation cake and distribute the gifts from the school to each person confirmed. Bishop James was able to stay on and chatted to each of the families over a glass of wine and nibbles.
I would like to extend my congratulations and warm wishes to each student who was confirmed on Friday, and thanks to their parents and godparents for their support.