New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Comment > Letters to the editor >

Children at the holy communion

Sir, - As the last surviving member of the 1970 Ely commission, which began in 1969 as an Archbishops' Commission and reported to the Synod in April 1971 under the title Christian Initiation: Birth and growth in the Christian society, may I say how gratified I am that, after 35 years, approval has been given to the admission of children to holy communion.

In 1970, we were aware of the difficulties that surfaced in the Synod debate. The reservations of Simon Butterworth could have been met by an acceptance of our recommendations on adult confirmation. The perceptive remark by the Bishop of Durham that the issue is really about full initiation echoes the basis of our report - birth and growth. It is a pity that the Synod was not brave enough, as we put it, "to make explicit its recognition of baptism as the full and complete rite of Christian initiation".

On training and confirmation, our recommendations were: that provision should be made at all levels of church life for clergy and laity alike to learn how to train young people for responsible life in the community; and "that the rite of confirmation continue to be administered as a service of commitment and commissioning, but as a suitable stage in adult life with the laying on of hands by the bishop or a priest appointed by the bishop for that purpose".

(Some of us were anxious that the ancient practice of the parish priest's confirming his own candidates be restored, but we did not wish the role of the bishop to be diminished. Indeed, we recommended that he administer first communion.)

In the realm of training, I am aware that we are in a new situation, but a re-reading of the chapter on this in the report would be well worth while.
STANLEY HOFFMAN
Flat 3, Ramsay Hall
Byron Road, Worthing
West Sussex BN11 3HN

Job of the week

Ecumenical Chaplain

Wales

G4S An equal opportunities employer Ecumenical Chaplain HMP Parc, Bridgend £29,920 pa | Full time As the world's leading security solutions group with operations in over 120 countries an...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Putting Passion into performance

Putting Passion into performance

Pat Ashworth talks to the originators of two home-grown Passion stagings, one musical and the other theatrical  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should parishes be able to sell treasures that no longer reside in their churches?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

My faith in the Church of England

David Cameron expresses his pride in its openness, beauty, social action, and pastoral care  Read More

Wed 23 Apr 14 @ 13:49
Eight arguments over whether the UK is a Christian country http://t.co/CZFXvZYlAS

Wed 23 Apr 14 @ 13:20
House of Bishops has announced plan to double number of BME senior clergy. Read about history of CofE + immigrants: http://t.co/6Pv4ShFh1I