Frequently asked questions

This page provides information relating to confirmation practise (including those relating to practical arrangements) based on questions that are commonly asked.

This page will be updated regularly. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email confirmation@bishop-coventry.org

Baptism and Confirmation

Should teenage and adult candidates who have not been baptised always be baptised in the same service as their confirmation?

Baptism and confirmation belong together and so for teenagers and adults it makes most theological sense for them to be baptized at the same service as their confirmation.

This is the practice with which Bishop Christopher and Bishop John are most comfortable. However, they understand that there are many practical and pastoral reasons for why clergy may prefer to baptize candidates locally and then bring them to confirmation at a later point. So they are content to trust the pastoral judgment of clergy about the exact timing of confirmation in relation to baptism.

Is it possible for the baptism of infants and young children to take place at a Confirmation Service?

Yes.

Age of Confirmation

What is the minimum age for Confirmation?

Confirmation involves candidates confessing their faith and, in so doing, expressing their commitment to the life and mission of the Church. Bishop Christopher and Bishop John are very happy to leave clergy to judge when particular children are old enough to be able to that with integrity. They suggest that 10-11 years old is a good guide but they are not averse to confirming younger children where appropriate.

Timing of Services

When will Services take place?

Following the proposal in Bishop Christopher’s paper, Confirmation in the Missionary Practice of the Church, (click here) the intention is that Services will take place at the following points in the year:

  • pre-Advent and Epiphany
  • Easter Day and Eastertide
  • Around Pentecost
  • Around Michaelmas

For details of upcoming confirmation services, please visit the Registering Candidates page.

Location of Services

Where will Bishop Christopher and Bishop John conduct Baptism and Confirmation Services?

The pattern that has evolved over recent years will continue. This is a combination of:

  • Diocesan Services in the Cathedral usually at the Feast of Christ the King, Easter Day (during the early morning Easter Liturgy) and Pentecost. In addition, Bishop John will usually be leading an Easter Liturgy, with Baptisms and Confirmations, on the evening of Holy Saturday.
  • Deanery Services as arranged by Area Deans in liason with Christine Camfield.
  • Parish Services on a Sunday.
Communion and Confirmation

Can baptised children be admitted to Holy Communion before Confirmation?

Yes this is entirely permissible provided that PCCs have agreed on such a policy and have developed a suitable process of preparation for children that has been agreed by the Bishop. Martin Green (revmcg@kerrings.net) is available to advise parishes who are considering developing this policy.

What should happen in parishes that do not have a policy of admitting children to Communion before Confirmation when parents move from another parish where that was the practice? In other words, should children who have been used to receiving communion in their previous parish continue to receive in their new parish, even when other children are not doing so.

Yes, children who have been used to receiving communion elsewhere should be gladly welcomed to the Lord’s Table even where ‘child communion’ is not the normal practice of the parish.

Should baptized adults who have not been confirmed receive Holy Communion?

It depends whom one is talking about.

  • Adults who are, in the words of the Prayer Book, ‘ready and desirous to be confirmed’ are welcome to receive Holy Communion. The assumption in these cases is that they are on their way towards confirmation.
  • Many adults, although ‘ready and desirous to be confirmed’ will want to hold back from receiving communion until they have been confirmed. This is what is known to most people as the classic Anglican position and it is a spiritual discipline worthy of great respect and encouragement.
  • Adults who come from other churches that do not practice confirmation are also very welcome to receive communion in the Church of England. Where they are a finding a settled home with us, it makes sense for them to consider Confirmation and, especially if they are to take a significant role in the life of the congregation, to prepare for it.
  • Adults who show no interest in the commitment of Confirmation but have become used to receiving communion should be challenged and encouraged to consider Confirmation. 
Planning Services

How do I go about planning services?

We hope to provide some guidelines and aids for planning services on the confirmation section of the website.

Do Confirmation Services (with or without Baptisms) have to be eucharistic?

As our initiation into Christ is fulfilled in the Eucharist it makes most sense for services of Baptism and/or Confirmations to take place within the context of a Eucharist and this is the practice that Bishop Christopher and Bishop John prefer.

However, they recognise that there are practical and pastoral reasons why it may be appropriate for the services not to be eucharistic, especially where there are a large number of candidates. Where this is the case, the newly confirmed should receive communion on the Sunday following their Confirmation.