I have the privilege of preparing candidates for confirmation and they will all be getting a copy of this book...including the adults! I have also emailed a link to most of my clergy colleagues and even to some of my former tutors at Theological College - it's that good!
The introduction begins: `Congratulations! You've been confirmed, and we want to join with the rest of the Church in celebrating with you what an amazing achievement that is!'....This infectious enthusiasm continues throughout the book and I was genuinely left feeling exciting about my own faith!
This book also made me feel proud that the C of E has such talented individuals who clearly know how to engage with young people in a way which is accessible without being patronizing. Although Bishop Paul writes a brief "opener" to each chapter, it appears that Pete Maidment (a Diocesan Youth Advisor) has written the bulk of the material. Both authors write with honesty and passion, and clearly know how to engage with young people without sounding trite or affected.
Each chapter takes one aspect of the confirmation "Commission" and offers an insightful explanation of what it might mean to live it out in our daily lives. Familiar with the trends of contemporary culture, the authors are also creative in drawing widely from church tradition. They have managed to include Lectio Divina, Ignatian Examen and will even have you listening to stirring battle music on your ipod whilst reciting the 1,700 year old "St Patrick's Breastplate" prayer!
The design of the book is great and you can tell that considerable thought has gone into the styling and layout. Although the visual design is aimed at younger candidates (teenagers), the content has much to offer an adult reader and I would be more than happy to give this book to older candidates. The book is intended for post-confirmation use although the structure could easily be adapted for a series of confirmation classes.
Mr Maidment also co-wrote Reconnecting with Confirmation which explores the place of confirmation within the C of E and is a very helpful (and much-needed) text on the subject.
A very practical book which is suitable for all ages. It is suitable as a refresher course 'long after the service is over'. Lots of excellent material too for those who prepare candidates for Confirmation.