54 candidates mark the next stage in their faith journey

On Sunday 28 April 54 pupils at Uppingham School were confirmed by Bishop Debbie in the school’s Victorian chapel, marking the next stage in their faith journey. Confirmation is a special church service in which a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized.    

Whilst confirmation is absolutely not a requirement of pupils at Uppingham, these numbers show the impact of being a community where faith is a regular and normal feature of the day and young people are given space to explore their faith and ask questions of the Chaplain, the Revd James Saunders. 

Confirmation candidates at Uppingham follow a course that is produced and run in-house, focused on exploring the significance of being a disciple and choosing to make a faith commitment. Revd James, leads this course and says, “it is made very clear that there is no expectation of ‘signing on the dotted line’ or claiming to believe in anything you don’t. Teenagers need space to determine their own identities and beliefs”. 

It was a particularly special service for Bishop Debbie, as it was her first visit to the school since she started her ministry in the Diocese. To be confirming so many young people in their school, surrounded by their friends and family was a moment of joy. In a time when many are concerned that young people are turning away from the church to have 54 teenagers all asking to be confirmed in their faith is remarkable. 

This was Revd James’ final confirmation service after 15 years service at Chaplain at Uppingham.  During this period he has prepared over 650 young people for confirmation, enjoying both the enthusiasm and challenges presented by those young people as they develop their beliefs and come to recognise the importance of their faith.  

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