A bumper confirmation saw 59 joyous people welcomed into a church family in one day.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Rev Rowan Williams, attended the busy event in South Wales along with Rt Rev June Osborne, Bishop of Llandaff.
Parish priest Fr Richard Green said his favourite part was seeing the faces of the confirmation candidates at St Fagans Church, Aberdare, gathered in person after attending confirmation glasses online during the pandemic.
“I think it was probably a mixture of relief and excitement and all the pent-up sort of feelings of the last 18 months,” Fr Richard told Premier.
The 52 children and seven adults, who affirmed their Christian faith in two separate services at St Fagan’s Church, Aberdare, due to the sheer numbers attending, included a father and daughter duo, and a mother and daughter pair.
Spencer Jones, 60, who was confirmed during last Sunday’s service along with his eleven-year-old daughter Sophie, said his family started attending after choosing a church school for their children. He said: “Before the ceremony my daughter and I chatted and chatted about faith. It felt lovely having that bond that will live with me forever. This type of conversation doesn’t happen with an 11-year-old that often these days.”
Nia Williams, 43, began attending confirmation classes with her daughter Alba, 11, as a way of doing something together. She said: “I am thrilled that we can finally have our confirmation made official and it was wonderful celebrating with my oldest daughter by my side.”
Fr Richard said that despite Rowan Williams having an “amazing intellect”, he knew how to pitch the sermon at the right level and engage with people.
“He’s really human and self-effacing and a humble person”, he said.
The two congregations of St Fagan’s and St Luke’s Church, Cwmdare, which both have a strong emphasis on youth and children’s work, had pre-pandemic congregations of about 90 people.