If some one had told me five years ago that I would be sat in St.Georges Church on a bitterly cold Sunday evening in January waiting for my confirmation service to begin, I would not have believed them. So, how and why was I there?
As is normal for me, it is a very complicated story which has spanned my entire life so far. About four years ago a life changing event occurred which literally whipped the rug from under my feet. I was catapulted into a state of utter hurt,confusion and shock and was left wondering what my whole life, as far back as I could remember, had been for.The only person who I could turn to who would understand all of this was my long suffering husband. At this time I was not a regular church attender.
But around this time my elder daughter, son-in-law and grandson began attending services at St.Georges, soon to be followed by my younger daughter and granddaughter. I then began to feel that I wanted to be with them at church so I started to go to be with them.
So what did I find? I found a welcoming, friendly, non-judgemental congregation in a calm and reflective environment, the effect of which initially led me to me crying throughout most of the service. I thought this was me being just stupid so stopped going for few a months.
Then something made me want to try again. Fortunately, over time, the tears grew less and less, but I still have the odd relapse! I slowly realised that going to church was actually helping me and suddenly, as if a light had been switched on, I realised that I would like to be confirmed.
I had been to Guildford Cathedral on several occasions to witness baptism and confirmations of my family and friends. Each time the Cathedral was packed with candidates and congregation so i foolishly thought, “safety in numbers”. As I later found out, it was not to be.
In preparation for confirmation, off I trundled with my husband in tow, to the Rectory for my six or so weekly sessions of questioning faith. I found a really lovely group of people who were and still are of great help and support. I also found out that the actual service was being held at St. Georges and that there were just four candidates.
The day of the service arrived and I was well and truly in the spotlight not hiding in the Cathedral throng or from the Bishop!
There then followed a wonderful service with joyful music, hymns and singing by the Family band and the combined choirs of St.Georges and St. Johns.
It was a truly “family affair”, with my two daughters and my son-in-law among the congregation with my friends. My grandson Tom and granddaughter Jessie were the Acolytes and also sang in the choir with my Husband. Just a small family joining the bigger family of the church.
I would like to thank everybody for a wonderful evening.