Children as eucharistic ministers

by
21 December 2012

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From Mr Malcolm Coates
Sir, - So, canon law is to be changed to allow any authorised regular communicant, including children, to distribute the holy sacrament (General Synod, 30 November). I share the same disquiet as the Revd David Perry in his letter about children and the eucharistic ministry (Letters, 7 December).

As a teacher of music and RE for many years, I see a parallel in the increasing number of schools that allow children a say in the appointment and assessment of teachers. There seems to be a culture of permitting children to do whatever they please, whenever they please, and that to discourage them is most unkind. More and more, they are being seen as small adults with equal maturity and understanding to adults.

But children do not know it all, and cannot be expected to. Quite simply, they are children, and not at the stage to do some of the things that adults are able to do. Administering the holy sacrament, I believe, is one of them. Those who supported the Synod motion are misguided in their view of children. This is one of many examples of our country's obsession with youth.

If you really want to involve more young people in church life, get them to join your choir. Here, indeed, is a real need nationwide, and some of them do it rather well.

MALCOLM COATES
20 Farleigh Court
Maidstone ME16 9BJ

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