Confession, or the sacrament of reconciliation, is God’s gift to us for forgiving sins. All Christians are taught to pray ‘forgive us our sins (or our trespasses)’, and all of us will be conscious of things we have thought, or said, or done, that we shouldn’t have done, or of things that we ought to have done but have failed to do. Formal confession is not compulsory in the Church of England, but it can be really helpful and liberating. If you are conscious of something you’ve done wrong, or burdened by it, or simply want to ensure you are honestly opening your life to God’s grace in penitence and faith, the sacrament of confession is there as a place where you can confess your sins and receive the assurance of God’s forgiveness.
Often people are nervous about making their confession, but the sacrament is a place of healing, not judgement. The priest may never speak about what you have said in the sacrament – even to you – afterwards.
If you have never made your confession before, one of the clergy will be happy to talk to you about what’s involved, and how to prepare for it. There is a short rite, with space for you to confess your sins. Then the priest will offer some advice, and give you a penance (this is a short act of thanksgiving for the grace received in the sacrament, which you should complete afterwards), and will then pronounce absolution. Here you hear definitively that God has forgiven you, and has put away your sins. And you can leave, knowing freedom in the grace of God.
If you would like to make an appointment to make your confession, or to talk more about what’s involved, please contact one of the clergy.