*** DEBUG END ***

Misuse of communion by extension

17 August 2012


From Mr George Southern
Sir, - While visiting our daughter in Devon, we went to the village church for the weekly parish communion, but discovered that it was a "Service of the Word with Holy Communion by Extension", at which the local Reader officiated, even though there were two robed priests present, one preaching, and one singing in the choir.

We got chatting to one of those priests after the service, and I questioned the legality of the use of that form of service by a Reader when there were two priests present.

He whispered: "I know. It should never happen; but the reason why they do it is to avoid paying the fee to a retired priest." He added: "I told the Rector that I would waive my fee rather than the parish suffer eucharistic deprivation, but he refused my offer as 'doing the other thing with the Reader also gives the people variety.'" We understand that this custom is "quite common" in the area.

We have the highest regard for Reader ministry, but is it not shocking that parishes suffer eucharistic deprivation while faithful priests are being deprived of being able to celebrate the eucharist? People speak of a "shortage of clergy", but, as far as Sunday eucharists are concerned, is it not the fact that priests are available who would be delighted to celebrate the eucharist, but the parishes wish to avoid paying their fee or simply do not bother to ask them?

Elmwood, Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1HP

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)