The Church Representation Rules state that PCC members must be “actual communicants”. However, if a person who has attended worship most weeks for 40 years, regularly read the lesson, performed sidespersons’ duties, set up for communion and cleared up afterwards, is fully involved in the life of the church, but does not, through integrity, receive communion, and is offering to serve as a PCC member, do we really have to refuse him or her?
It puzzles me why someone would want to serve faithfully over a 40-year period as a sidesman and lesson-reader but not receive the holy communion, which is the heart and climax of Christian worship.
As for PCC membership, my recent copy of the Church Representation Rules defines an “actual communicant member” as someone who has received communion according to the rites of the Church of England (or a Church in communion with it) at least three times during the 12 months prior to taking office. There appears to be no specific requirement to communicate in the parish where one wishes to hold office if the duties of a communicant are fulfilled elsewhere.
It should be possible for someone to be a communicant in one parish and hold office in another, but, without knowing the back story, I am mystified about why anyone would want to do that. As they stand, the rules appear to disqualify those who aren’t communicants at all, but enforcement of the rules is a matter for individual incumbents.
Adrian F. Sunman
South Collingham, Notts
Some church noticeboards have “The Church of England” and others “Church of England”. What is the significance (or otherwise) of the definite article? B. W.
Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.