Rethinking Confirmation – an introduction

SOME people talk of a ‘crisis’ in Confirmation. That may be somewhat extreme, but the fact is that the Church is facing a serious problem with the effectivness of confirmation. To help our thinking in this area, I have invited a number people to share their experiences and insights, following this introduction.

The majority of young people opt out of the institutional church after being confirmed. For them, Confirmation marks the conclusion of education in the faith and participation in worship. Some may return at a later date, but for most it marks the end, not the beginning of involvement in the life of the church. So what have we got wrong?

There is pressure on young people to conform; and some of them see Confirmation simply as something to be ‘done’. What makes this worse is that within society there is a lack of interest, if not hostility, to organised religion – which makes it difficult for some to consider presenting for confirmation.