Children and communion

page 6 useIf your parish has undertaken to process for Baptised person to be admitted to communion before confirmation (especially children) and are ready to make your formal application to the Bishop, please contact Yvonne Morris on 01865 208255 or email yvonne.morris@oxford.anglican.org

In November 1996, the General Synod of the Church of England agreed new rules about the admission of children to Communion before confirmation.

In June 2006 these guidelines became Regulations under Canon B15A. The admission of children to Holy Communion is an exciting change within the Church of England and is an issue that involves discussion not just by the PCC, children and their parents but the whole congregation. It is therefore important that the subject is discussed widely and at a number of levels, theologically, historically, pastorally and educationally.

A number of parishes in this diocese have made this important step and are seeing the benefits to the children’s nurture, and the enriching of worship for the whole church.

Parishes should be encouraged to consider the opportunities this parish affords to children and their families. Jesus’ instruction regarding children was clear Welcome children and you welcome me!

Preparing a Parish for the Admission of Children to Holy Communion

Within the Diocese of Oxford there is a carefully prepared policy document called We Welcome You (Order Form) which sets out a programme of Education, Policy, Implementation and Review. The document has been revised in the light of the new Regulations.

A hard copy of We Welcome You is available from the Diocesan Children’s Adviser

This process may take the following form:

Interest shown

Initial discussions within the PCC

Preparation and consultation with the congregation –Education

PCC/DCC to look at responses begin –Developing a Policy

Parish Application Form completed and sent to Area Bishop for approval.

Parental preparation )

Children’s preparation ) –Implementation of Policy

Children admitted to communion )

Ongoing monitoring –Review

Whilst it is the PCC’s responsibility to own the overall policy, this should be done in consultation with the Diocesan Children’s Adviser and with reference to the Diocesan procedures. A specially appointed working group may be set up to manage and implement the scheme on the PCC’s behalf.

In all instances the Area Bishop’s permission must be sought.