February Confirmations

In February three confirmation services took place across our diocese. Early in the month Bishop Martyn joined Living Hope church in Thurmaston, one of our Resourcing Church plants, for a service of Baptism and Confirmation. Emma, Shirley, Shona, Lottie, and Roman were all confirmed after Emma and Shirley were baptized. You can read their testimonies below… 

Roman -  Hi my name is Roman and I would like to be confirmed because I feel It would just make me personally closer to God. Since I was able to walk and talk I’ve been raised to believe in Jesus, but this will confirm my love of God. Every Sunday I go to church and I’m looking forward to having communion because it shows us how much God loves us through Jesus

Shona - I have been going to church ever since I was a baby and grew up going to church every Sunday. I was baptized just before my second birthday at St Luke’s Church in Thurnby. I would always look forward to going to church to see all of my church family and sing the children's songs and go to Sunday school where we would learn all about the miracles that Jesus performed. It wasn't until I moved up to the higher group in Sunday school called Pathfinders that I was told what you could do to get closer to God. I decided that was what I wanted to do, to try my hardest to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, which I knew would be a challenging thing to do. Luminosity was a BIG step as that's where I first felt the presence of the Holy Spirit fill me.
It was in a massive tent with lots and lots of people listening to a man preach about God, and his words reached out to me and meant something dear to me. Soon after that day I decided to go to the evening services at our church with my mum. I don't know how or why the word confirmation came up during the service but I had no idea what it meant at the time and asked my mum. Once she explained to me and I fully understood, I knew that was my next step to become closer to God. I talked more about confirmation with my mum in the church pew and once I was absolutely sure I went up to ask our vicar Tom to get more information. He was delighted to hear about my decision and a few months later it had been arranged and he came over to my home not so long ago and told me some more about it and prayed together. My prayer for you all is that you will always remember that God loves you and that your faith in Him will always stay strong. If you have not welcomed Jesus into your life then start your faith journey by coming to church.

Lottie - I want to get confirmed for many different reasons. I have been going to St. Catherine’s all my life and got baptised when I was 5 months old. Recently I have been going to church more regularly and feel like I’m connecting more with my church family and God. I want to be confirmed to declare my faith and my love for Christ

Emma - I didn't grow up in a Christian family. My parents were of no specific faith and chose not to gave my siblings and I christened as babies. Moral within the family were good and we were raised well. As a child I attended Sunday school out of my own interest, often taking myself along. As an adult, over the last few years, I've turned to the church in times of need. This was initially at the Methodist Church in Syston - a town where I live with my daughter Skylar aged 7. We later began attendting the family friendly sessions once a month at St Peters and St Pauls church. However, post covid, these sadly came to an end. I've made many good friends during my church journey including Skylar's godmother Jo, and James, who I met post christening, but who's adopted the role as Skylar's godfather. Not forgetting my dear friend Wendy, who has guided me over the last five years. I was delighted with the opportunity to join a new church recently - Living Hope Church Thurmaston. I have attended the Hope Explored Course and have discovered hope, peace, and purpose in knowing Jesus.

Shirley -  From the age of 8, my younger siblings and I were in and out of different children's homes, and since that time we have lost contact with each other. I used to go to Sunday school and I enjoyed it. When I was sent back home to Leicester, things didn't go well - I was in and out of bedsits, until I married and had a family. During this period, life was busy and I stopped praying for some time. When my children left home, I was very sad until I met a lovely man. We were very happy and I started to pray again. However, in 2012 he sadly passed away, and six months later my son had a very bad stroke. I connected to Jesus again and he gave me the strength to keep going. I wanted to go to church, but was unable to as it was too far for me to walk. Then in September 2022, Living Hope Church started. I have really enjoyed going every week, and having been on the Hope Explored Course, I'm excited to be baptised and confirmed. What does being a follower of Jesus mean to me? It means I don't need to be afraid of death, that I can find peace with myself, and learn to forgive.

Later in the month services took place at St Margaret’s in Leicester and St Cuthbert’s in Great Glen. At St Cuthbert’s the service took place in the local school and three candidates were confirmed by Bishop Martyn including Elliot whose testimony can be read below… 

Elliot - I was baptised by my Grandparents in the same Church my mum was, so I have been on my Journey with God since before I can remember. My Oma and Opa (Grandma and Grandpa) have always been able to answer my questions about Faith.
I am choosing confirmation as I want to continue on my Journey with God as I believe He is an important part of my life.
I have enjoyed meeting with Rev Ben in the village as this has allowed me to meet other people who, like me, are wanting to discuss God and interact. This has also encouraged me to get confirmed.

 At St Margaret’s Bishop Martyn received Emma into the Church of England and confirmed 12 candidates in all from St Peter’s, Highfields, Holy Apostles, St Margaret’s and St Nicholas including Carole, Nucleus, Mark and Ann Elizabeth whose testimonies can be read below…. 

Ann Elizabeth - When I was 5 I went to dance classes at Friar Lane Baptist Church, after class I heard singing from the Sunday School class and I gate crashed the Sunday school service and joined in the singing. “I will make you Fishers of men if you follow me” and “Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah” 
I enjoyed the bible stories. As a child I would also watch and listen to Songs of Praise. It was a lovely family time and so uplifting. When I was 8 I went to a crusade with my cousins in a large tent. It was full of people praising the Lord, a wonderful experience of worship. I was christened at on 25th November 1979 alongside my brother , sister and cousin at Greenfield Anglican Church in Shrewsbury. I turned to God and to Jesus as a teenager. When I was struggling, I would say the Lord’s Prayer out loud at night.
I now attend the Holy Apostles Church services to worship the Lord. Jesus gives me strength, hope and encouragement and so much comfort. When I look at God’s creation I feel close to Him. I especially feel close to Jesus through nature, the countryside and animals, I am so grateful to God for creating all the animals in the world. I feed the pigeons in town hall square and some fed out of my hand -such an amazing experience. I get comfort from reading the bible, particularly the Psalms and Proverbs. God will always be by my side, showing me the way and guiding me. God/ Jesus loves us all, they are my salvation. I trust and believe whole heartedly.

Mark- I was baptised as a baby. As a child ny mother would sit by my bed at night, she would teach me prayers and we would say them together. I started school and Sunday school. I remember drawing pictures of the parables.
In my adult life it was my auntie who gave me my Bible. This was 1983. My mother always wanted me to be confirmed. I have been blessed many times at Holy Apostles. During the coronavirus pandemic our Sunday service was on You-tube this was a great way to bring us together and to guide us, leaving us with that warm loved feeling. Last year I did the alpha course. This helped me to understand more with regards Jesus sacrifice how he felt for us. I simply want to return my love to him. I know to be confirmed is not the end of my faith journey. To be confirmed I believe will give me the feeling of being a greater part of the church with more confidence and so being able to tell others of my faith journey.
Bible reading and prayer will continue, the seed within continues to grow.

Nucleus - My Christian faith journey started in 1998, 25 years ago in Southern Africa Zimbabwe, at Glad Tidings Church in Glennorah, It is a Pentecostal church. After 6 months I decided to say yes to Christ and I was eventually baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But when I moved to the UK I served as an elder with I.L.C. ministry from 2004-20011 a branch opened in Leicester in this ministry and I and my ex-wife were active leaders, she an ordained pastor and me an elder, but things happened and the church dissolved and we joined a different young church called CFANI. I moved from that ministry due to my separation from my wife. Therefore as I located to Narborough Road area I decided to join Holy Apostles Church in 2021. I am now a member there. I want to say yes to God because  I feel I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be stronger in the things of God and be an effective Christian and impact the community with the gospel of Christ.
Over all I love God with all my heart because he is the Lord and saviour of my life.

Carole - My journey firstly to baptism, came after the turmoil of grief, and my enrolling in the alpha course.
My internal compass was no longer navigating me, and I was struggling with the seven stages of loss, after my partner Terry passed away in April 24th 2017, shortly after a diagnosis of cancer.
My heart was not  broken but shattered, and I felt beyond repair.
I had looked to finding solace in several church environments, but couldn’t find peace, I was angry and felt my life was torn apart and that I could never move forward.
A dear friend suggested I join her for the “Christingle” on Christmas Eve at Holy Apostles Church, and it felt comfortable and felt that it was right for me, and started to attend each Sunday, and then I signed up for the Alpha Course. I slowly began to feel Christ’s direction for me, and found my faith, an inner strength, and no longer felt so alone.
I felt Christ’s closeness, and love for me, more acutely as I continue to fell his guidance. I was baptised March 10th 3 years ago, and my evolving faith has been the catalyst for me to ask to be ‘confirmed’ and an affirmation of my love and dedication to Christ and the church. I have witnessed the love and power of Jesus and wish to share my journey and experience with others. My compass is now restored, and U find the strength and support off Christ is always with me, and my faith is all encompassing. 

Lorna - I was born in 1945 and baptised at St. Denys Church, Ibstock. I lived there and in Newbold Verdun as a child and teenager, but was never confirmed. I then moved to Narborough when I married. Our daughter was baptised at All Saints in Narborough in 1972 and in time she had her own children who I accompanied to their Sunday School at Narborough Congregational Church. I realised after a while I was going to church for me and not just the grandchildren. When my husband died in 2003, I could not have got through that without knowing God’s grace and peace. When I moved to Leicester a few years ago I started going the Central Baptist Church, but last year I became very unsettled there. I got up one morning and came to St Margaret’s. After a few weeks I heard a conversation about Confirmation and I knew this was what I had missed out on all those years ago as a teenager. Confirmation completes something very special for me. 

Chris - I was christened as a baby in St. Augustine’s Church, Leicester and we moved around the city a bit, though I attended Sunday School for a short time only. My father died of a stroke when I was 17. I was very lost without him and I felt I needed to go back to church to try and understand why such a good man had been taken at 45 years old. 
My brother and I attended St. Peter’s Church in Glenfield, then as time moved on, I married and had five children. I seemed to move away from Church then. 
Over the last 12 years my cousin Jane and I have taken Will, my grandson to visit many places. As a young child he was always interested to go and look around churches – the older the better. In 2021 we went to the Cathedral for a shopper’s Carol Concert and then for Midnight Mass. Will and I spoke a lot about starting going to church and we came to St. Margaret’s in January 2022. We both enjoy coming and are always made welcome. I believe in God and am happy to be back in church. 

Will - From the beginning of my journey I was never baptised, I thought of this as a roadblock at first, but now it is happening I see it as more of an opportunity. An opportunity to take the next step in following the Lord. I started initially by going to a shopper’s service at the Cathedral, followed by Midnight Mass there. After that me and my Nan, who has supported me so much along this journey, we both agreed to keep going to church. So, I’m grateful that the people here at St. Margaret’s have supported me and welcomed me so much into the Church. I do believe in the Lord and believe the next step is being baptised and confirmed. 

Anna - Faith has been a part of my life for as long as I remember. Growing up, my parents took my sisters and I to a free Pentecostal church. I was surrounded by people who loved me, prayed for me and actively encouraged me in my own faith. The mission of the church was focused on service to the local community, which was largely poor and deprived, which taught me to be outward-looking in my faith. Although I am grateful for the way in which this church community helped to establish some foundations in my faith, as I grew up, I began to question some of the teachings and practises of this church, realising that not all were helpful for me and my relationship with God and I needed to do some exploring for myself. Part of this exploration happened through music. I was part of my college’s chamber choir, and we toured different cities and countries singing both secular and sacred music. Some of my most profound encounters with God as a teenager was through this music. When I went to university, I began attending a Baptist church. This different perspective on church and the Christian tradition further exploded and expanded my relationship to my faith. My time here, however, did not end well and I again decided to spend time searching for God outside of the church through my own private faith and organic connections with those around me. After some time, and a sense that God was calling me deeper into prayer, I took the opportunity to move to Leicester and join a community that I felt might offer me this space to explore this call. Over this time, I have encountered a number of other Christian traditions that have all further fed into my experience of God and faith. I am so grateful for how God has formed me through this rich breadth of experience of how he reveals himself to different types of people at different times. Although my faith journey has gone through different seasons, and whether that faith has felt strong or fragile, God has remained faithful, and now I feel that I am on my way to finding my place in the body of Christ.

First published on: 13th March 2023
Powered by Church Edit