Darren’s journey to confirmation
One of the first confirmations since Covid-19 started took place this week. Darren Moore, who worships at St Mary’s Church in Penzance, was confirmed by the Bishop of St Germans, the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson.
During the service Darren spoke about what had brought him to faith and why it was important he was confirmed.
You can read Darren’s story in his own words below:
Where does one begin? In this tapestry that we call life, perhaps not in the images therein but the weave of said; the very fibres themselves.
I recall watching all of those religious films as a child, in awe. Also, sitting peacefully in churches, silently pondering the mysteries of life. Even at an early age I was struck by Christianity, it made me think like nothing else.
But maybe I should not start at the beginning, but the end.
In 2019 I was sitting on a beach off the West Coast of Africa, at a crossroads in my life, when suddenly a voice came clear in my ear. It said: “I’ve been here all of the time, where have you been?”
“I jumped up immediately and flew back to Europe the next day. Then I went straight on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela; a 500-mile pilgrimage. Here I stopped in every church to fill the cup of my heart, sometimes to overflowing but then I emptied it along the way amongst the other pilgrims. It was here I realised that to keep my heart full I had to empty it. This was a revelation to me because before I had kept close as much of the divine essence as I could, storing it like a treasure but now there was no need. A paradox indeed but more than obvious in practice. When I reached the end, past Santiago, to the sea at Finisterre, I knew I was free but captured, empty but full. I knew where the kingdom of heaven was. It was right here, right now. I was walking through its streets, climbing its hills, crossing its rivers; it had always been here.
“Some have asked me what my relationship with God is. I can say only this; it is God who wakes me from slumber and shows me wonders, every second of the day. And some have asked, why be confirmed? In response I can only say this; if Jesus is on the water, I wish to anchor my boat as close to him as I possibly can.
“I suppose I should say something about this (the bible). I used to think it was a prison, a box to give God a set of boundaries, some hard edges. But now, I see it as principally not a cell, but the very key to its door. This book is also a mystery play, with a cast of one, that being you or me. We play all of the parts, every one and if we persevere to the final act, we are as free as the hero we followed; the hero we eventually become. Thereafter, we indeed walk in the light for all time, there is no going back.
“I once wrote in a small poem that seeing things for the last time is not the same as seeing them for the first, but now, seeing everything for the first time is just not the same as anything.
“I end now as close to the beginning as I could find at such short notice. This is a poem from the 11th century, written by Simeon The New Theologian. It is called Christ’s Body:
We awaken in Christ’s body
As Christ awakens our bodies
And my poor hand is Christ. He enters
My foot and is infinitely me
I move my hand, and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ, becomes all of him
(For God is indivisibly
Whole, seamless in his Godhood).
I move my foot, and at once
He appears in a flash of lightening.
Do my words seem blasphemous? – Then
Open your heart to him
And let yourself receive the one
Who is opening to you so deeply
For if we genuinely love him
We wake up inside Christ’s body
Where all our body, all over,
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realised in joy as him
And he makes us utterly real
And everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful
Maimed, ugly, irreparably,
Damaged, is in him transformed
And recognised as whole, lovely
Radiant in his light
We awaken as the beloved
In every last part of our body.