A service of Confirmation for churches in the All Saints Team Ministry in the Deanery of Wigan took place on Thursday 9th June in the Parish Church.
The Confirming Bishops were the Rt Reverend Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool and Rt Reverend Cyril Ashton, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Liverpool.
Kerry Mcnamara, whose daughter Megan got confirmed on the night said: “The service was lovely and I am grateful for the support and knowledge Megan gained through her volunteer teachers, who prepared her properly before the ceremony itself.”
Megan herself commented: “I enjoyed attending my Confirmation classes and I have learned that God will always be around me. I will never be alone. The classes were made especially enjoyable because I was able to learn more about Jesus whilst being with my friends.”
It was also a special occasion for the new Rector of Wigan Parish Rev. Bill Matthews as it was his first Confirmation service whilst holding this new position in the Transforming Wigan Ministry. He said: “It has been a wonderful occasion watching the young people from several of our churches become full members of our Christian faith tonight”.
Bishop Paul in his address added: “I have been deeply struck by the letters I have read from nearly all those candidates present here tonight as to why they felt ready to get confirmed. Some of their thoughts I will share with you. One candidate said “I want to be part of the church…to be closer to God`s family.” Another candidate said: “I want to be wrapped in God`s Love.” And finally, a comment from a 10 year old boy struck a chord with me because he said very simply: “I want to show God I LOVE HIM !!”
As the candidates went up to either Bishop Paul or Cyril to be confirmed with the Chrism oil one boy said to me: “What is that sticky thing I have just had put on my forehead?” I explained it was the ancient symbol of anointing a person with oil – a symbol of strength – to keep him strong in the faith that he had just made his solemn declaration to abide by in years to come.”
The service concluded with the rousing singing of the hymn: “I, the Lord of sea and sky” and the candidates being given a lighted candle with which to process around the church a two-fold reminder of both their Baptismal candle and that Jesus is the Light of the World.