THE Synod gave final approval on Sunday afternoon to additional
Introducing the debate, the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt
Revd Stephen Platten, said that the original motion, brought to the
Synod in 2008, had provided a "clear brief" to provide prayers that
children could "engage with", and that "reflected their needs as
In these "excellent" prayers, this had been fulfilled. Clear
principles had been followed: to maintain a "traditional structure
and a theology which is acceptable to the whole Church of England";
to ensure that the language was "direct, visual, and vivid"; and to
ensure that the shape of the prayers "incorporated a sense of
stillness and quietness as well as drama and wonder". "Marvellous"
comments from children had provided "really uplifting assurance to
Canon James Allison (Wakefield), in his maiden speech,
said the prayers had already changed lives in his deanery. St
Peter's, Sowerby, known as "the Rock Church", had welcomed the
prayers, in draft form, "with open arms". A vigil mass that drew
people from the local estate featured "hybrid worship" of liturgy
and rock music. The new Christians coming on Saturday night to Rock
Church had doubled the size of the parish in just three years. The
Synod should vote through the prayers for churches such as this, he
Robin Stevens (Chelmsford) said that a group of adults
at his church had "prayerfully read through the second of the
prayers", and had been "physically moved by what they were reading.
These may be prayers for children, but they're also prayers for
adults as well.
The Revd Dr Sandra Millar (Gloucester), who was part of
the revision committee, said that it was "very exciting to stand at
this point where we're about to have prayers available for everyone
to use". There was an opportunity "for parishes to think again
about admitting children to communion before confirmation", and to
"think carefully about eucharist in schools".
Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) said that the prayers had
only "a couple of references" to the atonement. Children, like
adults, "do have a sense of having done things they don't want to
have done . . . and a desire to receive assurance for
The Synod voted by Houses to give final approval: Bishops: 26
nem. con; Clergy: 110 nem. con.; Laity 95 to 5, with 3 recorded
The prayers are authorised for use from Saturday 1 September
2012 until further resolution of the Synod.