Interested in Confirmation or own a pet?

On Sunday 19th June Bishop Sam, the Bishop of Stockport, is coming to St Martins to lead a Pet Blessing Service at 4pm, followed by a Confirmation Service at 6.30pm, with food in-between. In case you are wondering how these two things came to be linked together – it was his idea and resulted from a conversation in a pub.

Pet Services are wonderful and joyful: we give thanks for the gift that our pets are to us, and we think about the things that we can learn from the way in which they love us. You are welcome to bring any animal that will be happy being around other animals, though cages would be a good idea for smaller pets. You are also welcome to bring photos of any animals that would find it difficult to be around others. We are hoping that this service will be outside, so that we can welcome larger animals too. (The largest thing I’ve blessed so far is an alpaca…)

Confirmation within the Church of England means different things to different people. We usually invite young people of around 11 or older, and adults, to consider confirmation. It is often an opportunity to declare and affirm vows made on your behalf at your baptism – though we also often baptise and confirm in the same service, so you are very welcome to do both.

Confirmation involves a Bishop laying hands on each candidate’s head and praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is seen as a recognition that a candidate has been prepared and is being accepted and received into the full communion of the church.

It is generally linked with receiving Holy Communion, and this forms part of the confirmation service too. This is one of the two sacraments of the Church of England (baptism being the other) and is a vital part of feeding and sustaining our faith. One of the most meaningful points of my week is the few seconds of silence and prayer after receiving communion.

We will be holding Confirmation Classes in May and early June, so please do get in touch with Revd Catherine ASAP if this is something that you are considering, or if you would like to talk about it: catherine.cleghorn@hotmail.com / 07813 117385

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