In March 2014 St Philip Evans parish began its Confirmation Mentoring Scheme. Members of this parish will only be presented to the Archbishop for Confirmation when they have demonstrated that they are personally committed to living as members of the Catholic Church and have taken part in the mentoring scheme for at least 12 months.
Any baptised young person who wishes to be confirmed and is of Secondary School age may begin working with a mentor as soon as they feel ready to do so. Mentoring sessions take place on the first week of each month, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6.00 p.m. (not August). There will also be a short course of about seven weeks in the April-June period - this is for both mentees about to be confirmed and those just beginning their year of mentoring.
If a candidate intends to choose a confirmation sponsor who lives locally, the sponsor could become that candidate’s mentor. The sponsor would need to come to the same debriefing sessions as the parish mentors (which will normally be at 6.00 p.m. on the second Monday of odd months) and, for Safeguarding reasons, must meet with their candidate during the supervised First Week slots. The parish cannot take responsibility for any contact between a candidate and their chosen sponsor outside this arrangement.
Those candidates beginning mentoring and those completing a year of mentoring are asked to attend a course running 5.45 p.m. – 6.45 p.m. on Wednesdays 10 May - 21 June (not half term). There will be a rehearsal for confirmation on Wednesday 28 June.
In 2017, candidates from St Philip Evans will be confirmed at the 10.30 a.m. Mass on Sunday 2 July. This will only be open to young people who were already being mentored by August 2016.
So what do I have to do if I want to be confirmed in summer 2018?
1. You must have already made your First Communion. If you have not, please speak to Pastor Gareth.
2. Attend Sunday Mass regularly.
3. Contact Vince Saunders to arrange to begin mentoring sessions; she will assign a mentor and a meeting time. Email: email@example.com
4. Meet monthly with your mentor. (It’s not a problem to skip a month because of illness or holiday, as long as you come regularly.)
5. In early 2018, Pastor Gareth will ask candidates whether anyone feels ready to be confirmed in summer 2018. If there are candidates, they will be scheduled to receive confirmation from Archbishop George, possibly in a neighbouring church. (But no-one will be guaranteed a place at the ceremony at that stage!)
6. In March 2018, Pastor Gareth will review how participants have engaged with the mentoring. The only names put forward for confirmation will be of candidates who have spent the past 12 months coming to Sunday Mass regularly, understand the basic teachings of the Catholic Church, are going to confession from time to time, and are engaging in some voluntary work within or beyond the parish.
7. After March 2018, Pastor Gareth will work with those candidates recognised as ready for confirmation to prepare the ceremony, and invite them to nominate sponsors and confirmation names. A short course will be offered 5.45 p.m. – 6.45 p.m. on some Wednesdays in April thru June.
For adults, Confirmation preparation is part of the Exploring the Catholic Faith programme.