Ben Mizen, on the Diocese of Portsmouth youth and children’s blog writes:
A valued friend and colleague posted some advice from teens to the church on confirmation that he gathered at an event he ran. I think there’s more than a morsel of truth here:
•No one should be forced to ‘do’ Confirmation (by parents, church or the fact that everyone gets confirmed at that age). Remarks around ‘not being ready’
•Lose the word ‘Course’ … It should be a place to explore, discuss, pray whatever your questions or doubts. It needs to be about faith in general (living it out), not about information.
•Food is good as part of the group, especially Pizza and cake!
•There are several reflections of, confirmation can happen too young, before young people are wanting/needing to explore who they are. (Three of the respondents were clear that you needed to be 13 or 14+ as a minimum).
•You should be free not to be confirmed, you should be able to decide when you are spiritually ready.
•The service should be less long, less formal and involve teens more. Several commented that they would like to have invited their friends but wanted it to be something their friends (from outside of Church) could understand, enjoy and engage with.
•Two commented on wanting Confirmation to happen in their own church so it was their church ‘family’ that were welcoming them.
•There needs to be follow-up to reflect on the experience, to help them know where they go from here, and to link them up with what it now means to be part of the church. “How do we grow in Christ afterwards?”