18 August 2016 – The Saints Chapel hosted the annual Confirmation Service on Wednesday evening, with the Bishop of Bloemfontein, Dintoe Letloenyane, in attendance and the Saints Choir brightening up proceedings with their customary excellence.
Fourteen boys – Phatu Mlameli, Jonathan Cullinan, Connor Kruger, Kabelo Leiee, Baiden Mousley, Dali Ndaba, Alex Ramsay, Nkulu Shumane, Joshua Slack, Ryan Smith, David Stevens, Siyabonga Stoai, Thato Thamae and Trevor Visagie, along with Amy Charles, from Eunice, – were confirmed.
The Bishop of Bloemfontein, Dintoe Letloenyane, presided over Saint Andrew’s annual Confirmation Service.
“We have a few parents who have had sons here [at Saints], but with daughters at Eunice, so a few years ago we had quite a crowd of parents asking if their daughters could attend confirmation classes at Saints’ Chapel. We spoke to the Bishop and the Saints’ Headmaster, and they said it is a good idea. The classes have been big lately,” the school’s Chaplain Father Deon Lombard commented on Amy’s inclusion.
The themes of confirmation focus on the three Ds, he explained: “We start with doctrine, which is mostly centred around the teaching on the Trinity. Then we go into duty. Our duty is to love God and our neighbours. Then we go into devotion: how we worship as we do and what’s unique about the worship in our Chapel.”
There was a time, Father Deon, suggested when confirmation seemed like it was just another tradition, and the numbers had dropped to a maximum of about eight boys each year, but there has been a pleasing upswing in recent years.
“A few years ago (2012), I started talking about community and said this is a brotherhood. One of our former Head Boys, JJ de Wit, spoke about the brotherhood of Saint Andrew’s, so we developed that theme and pushed confirmation as an important part of community development.”
He added: “The boys seem to enjoy being confirmed together, rather than in their home churches.”
Wednesday evening’s Confirmation Service was highlighted by the laying on of the hands, which is done at Saints in a manner that Father Deon termed “unique”.
Describing the nature of that uniqueness, Father Deon continued: “We had a few first team rugby players, who also sing in the Choir. We had their family laying hands on them, the Head Master, their House Masters, then we had whole Choir, the whole of the first team rugby and hockey teams. It was a mass laying on of hands, so it is truly unique.
“The Bishop said he has never seen it before. But it really is a nice feature.”