The Anglican Bishop of Lancaster, The Rt Rev Geoff Pearson and the Bishop of Burnley, The Rt Rev Philip North confirmed a total of 32 young people and 4 adults between them at just two confirmation services recently.
The busy services took place at St John Baptist Parish Church, Broughton and All Saints, Burnley. Coincidentally, both sets of candidates at the two services consisted of 16 young people and 2 adults.
They were among the latest confirmation services for the Diocese, which is now consistently appearing in the top five of all Church of England Dioceses for confirmations.
The church in Broughton was filled with family and friends of those who were confirmed, who all came from Broughton Parish to watch Bishop Geoff confirm the candidates, at what was one of his last services before he retires at the end of July.
The Bishop was assisted by local Vicar and Area Dean, Father Shaun Baldwin, Curates Rev Rie Walker and Rev Pauline Taylor, and Lay Reader, Canon Andrea Titterington.
Speaking after the service Father Shaun said: “I was privileged to be able to pray for the 16 young people and two adults and it was exciting to witness so many taking this important step of faith together. It was also wonderful to see the church filled to capacity and filled with joyous singing.”
Meanwhile, at the service at All Saints in Burnley, the 18 candidates there came from All Saints', St Andrew's and St Cuthbert's Parishes - all in the Burnley Deanery.
Once again, the church was filled with family and friends of those who were confirmed, and Bishop Philip was assisted by local Vicar, Father Charles Hill; Canon Peter Hapgood-Strickland and The Venerable Dr Stephen Adesanya.
The service was followed by refreshments as the candidates and their families celebrated with church officials.
Father Charles said: “I was privileged to be able to prepare our own young people for confirmation and to pray for all 18 candidates as they took this important step of faith together."
Commenting on these recent confirmation services the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said: “As part of our Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities we seek to make disciples for Jesus. In our Diocese in Lancashire we have one of the highest confirmation rates in the Church of England.
“Between 2010 and 2016 inclusive we confirmed nearly 7000 candidates and have been in the top five Dioceses for total number of candidates.
“I congratulate the parishes involved in these two services and look forward to many more joyous confirmation services like these taking place in the future.”