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Out of the question

by
11 May 2010

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

Is it in order for non-alcoholic wine to be used at communion in an Anglican church (and possibly dispensed in individual cups) during a united service with friends from the Methodist Church?

It is not in order, but in view of the existence of the Anglican-Methodist Covenant, it is highly desirable.

The Church of England requires its priests to communicate the con­gregation using alcoholic wine in a metal chalice. Canon B17.2 reads:

“. . . the wine [shall be] the fermented juice of the grape, good and whole­some.” Canon F3.1 reads: “. . . there shall be provided . . . a chalice for the wine . . . of gold, silver or other suitable metal.”

It is clearly undesirable to re-quire Methodists suddenly to adopt Ang­lican standards in an ecu­menical service, but the only way out of the problem would seem to be to seek the approval of the bishop.

A further difficulty in terms of ecumenical respect is that of pres­idency. It would be tactless to invite Methodists, but to refuse their minister a presidential role. Indeed, the proper ecumenical gesture would be to invite the minister to preside. Yet Canon B12.1 reads: “No person shall consecrate and ad­minister the holy sacrament of the Lord’s Supper unless he shall have been ordained priest by episcopal ordination.”

Whereas the Covenant envisages that Methodist ministers are “pres­byters”, no formal acceptance of this has taken place, and the continuing practice of lay presidency in con­gre-gations that were formerly “Prim­itive Methodist” heightens the problem.

To have two presidents, one for the Anglican chalice and the other for the glass cups of the Methodists, would be anti-ecumenical.

Once again, the only way out of the problem would seem to be to seek the authority and approval of the bishop.

Christopher Haffner (Reader)
East Molesey, Surrey

Your questions

Our church organist is worried that all contemporary music (i.e. non-out-of-date copyright music) performed at weddings, etc., needs a licence. He thinks that licences are needed for all the orders of service with contemporary words and to record contemporary music on the videos. (He is perfectly happy for his own playing to be recorded, but does not want to get into trouble over this himself.)

Our vicar says that as no fees are changing hands for the use of the music, no licences at all are needed. He says that all church services are exempt from copyright laws. I am a PCC member. What are my res­ponsibilities in this matter, please? DB

About 100 years ago, a church in the benefice where I serve changed its dedication from St John the Baptist to St Lawrence. There appears to be no documentation in the diocesan/county records, and oral tradition puts it down to the whim of an incumbent. The church is full of allusions to St John the Baptist, and there appears a good case for reverting to the original dedication; indeed, we have another St Lawrence’s in the bene­fice. What would be involved in formally reverting? Is there a national archive where the change (and reasons for it) may have been recorded?

Our vicar says that as no fees are changing hands for the use of the music, no licences at all are needed. He says that all church services are exempt from copyright laws. I am a PCC member. What are my res­ponsibilities in this matter, please? DB

About 100 years ago, a church in the benefice where I serve changed its dedication from St John the Baptist to St Lawrence. There appears to be no documentation in the diocesan/county records, and oral tradition puts it down to the whim of an incumbent. The church is full of allusions to St John the Baptist, and there appears a good case for reverting to the original dedication; indeed, we have another St Lawrence’s in the bene­fice. What would be involved in formally reverting? Is there a national archive where the change (and reasons for it) may have been recorded?

F. W. D.

Why does Common Worship remember Christina Rossetti on 27 April — neither her birthday, 5 December 1830, nor her death date, 29 December 1894? Is it be­cause 29 December is already occupied by Thomas Becket? Or has she been confused with her sister Lucy, who died in April 1894? If there has been confusion, can Christina be restored to her winter date? Her brother states that winter was a central theme in her poetry, making cold her Italian blood, though she was warmed by the presence of the incarnate Christ.

M. I.

Was there ever a saint called St Domingo, or does St Domingo just mean Holy Sunday? A. P.

The present Archbishop of Canter­bury and RC bishops prefer the black vest/stock/shirt to the purple and degrees of redness. How did the difference arise? Is black re-entering the episcopal wardrobe? Bibliography, please.
D. G. H.

The present Archbishop of Canter­bury and RC bishops prefer the black vest/stock/shirt to the purple and degrees of redness. How did the difference arise? Is black re-entering the episcopal wardrobe? Bibliography, please.
D. G. H.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.

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