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The meaning of the word “confirm” given in the dictionary is “to make stronger or more persistent” and this is what people are doing with their religious faith when they are confirmed. People are often (though not always) baptised when they are babies, so confirmation is their chance to renew for themselves the promises made for them by their parents and godparents when they were christened.

People are not usually confirmed before the age of about 13 but many are adults before they are confirmed.

The confirmation itself is a fairly simple ceremony, normally incorporated into the ordinary church service but taken by the Bishop, who has higher authority in the church than the parish vicar or regular minister.

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The Bishop's Chair for confirmation
A confirmation certificate
The Methodists believe that baptism is seen as incomplete until the person is "received into full membership" of the church. A candidate for full membership attends classes with the minister, to learn about the main aspects of the Christian faith. A special service for "reception into full membership" is then held. The candidate reaffirms the vows made on his/her behalf at infant baptism and hands are laid on by the minister to represent the anointing of the Holy Spirit.