Jesus was very direct to his disciples in Matthew 28 at the great commission:
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The earlier disciples when sharing the good news seem to encourage baptism immediately after repentance and belief in Jesus. Peter has said earlier after his sermon in Acts 2.38
Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is not an optional extra for Christians it is an essential part of our faith. Whether we are baptised as a infant or baptised as an adult it is really important that we get baptised!
In the New Testament baptism and confirmation went hand in hand. People would be baptised and then someone who confirm their faith through the laying on of hands and prayer to receive the Holy Spirit. Over time these have sometimes been separated. Whole families used to be baptised together from babies to adults.
In the Anglican tradition many people choose to baptise their babies whilst others choose instead to dedicate them and then let the child choose when they want to be baptised. Both ways are good and one way is not better than the other. Some people are baptised by pouring water over their head whilst others do full submergence baptism in a pool. Both ways are good and one way is not better than the other.
If you were baptised as a baby we would really encourage you to be confirmed too as a public declaration of your faith and to be equipped for living out that faith.
If you have never been baptised we would really encourage you to be baptised and confirmed at the same time.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptized and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus. (From CofE website.)
Confirmation candidates must be baptised, although they can be baptised in the confirmation service if they were not baptised before, and have been prepared for confirmation by Ben. We would like adult candidates to attend a confirmation course. There is no fixed age for confirmation, but the candidate must be able to answer for the questions put to them for themselves. Few bishops will confirm children younger than 10 years old.
Confirmation does not mean that you are more holy or more loved! It is simply a public declaration and celebration of a person’s desire to follow Jesus Christ and to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit working in them every day of their lives. You can receive Holy Communion before you are confirmed, but if you have been confirmed it should be part of your regular worship to receive Holy Communion.
What should I do if I think I would like to be confirmed?
Come and tell Ben in person, or contact him by phone or email.