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Baptism, Confirmation, Affirmation and Reception

Initiation into the Christian community is a cause for celebration and, as part of their Episcopal ministry, Bishops enjoy the privilege of baptising and confirming those who have been prepared for these significant stages of the Christian journey.

The Bishops use Common Worship: Christian Initiation for all services of Baptism and Confirmation, and Confirmation is set in the context of the Eucharist. Full details of the baptism and confirmation services are to be found in Common Worship: Christian Initiation (2005, ISBN 9780715121023) and are also available on the Church of England website.

Electronic and printed versions of the services for Confirmation with Holy Communion, and Baptism, Confirmation with Holy Communion, as edited for use in the Diocese are available from the Bishop of Guildford's office. It is important that the introduction to each service is read carefully, as these provide background and explanation of the services and the opportunities they offer. The Bishop's Chaplain is able to give guidance on practical matters.

Attention is drawn to the Commentary by the Liturgical Commission at the end of the volume (which includes a helpful frequently asked questions section), as well as to the notes, which have legal force.

There is a range of additional supportive services which recognises different stages of a person's spiritual journey leading up to adult baptism and confirmation. The service for Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, and one for Reception into the Communion of the Church of England are now clearly set out and can be included in a confirmation service where appropriate.

The list of confirmations for the following year is prepared each summer. Further provision will be considered if growth in the number of candidates warrants it, but any special requests should be made through the Area Dean to the Bishop of the Diocese.

Candidates in the Diocese should normally be 12 years of age or over at the time of confirmation. If a Priest wishes to present a child under this age, s/he should request permission of the confirming Bishop before starting the course of preparation.

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