Holy Communion in celebrated in the parish every Sunday at 8am and Wednesday at 10am, and the 3rd Sunday of the month at 6pm at St Andrew's. For those services we use the traditional words of the Book of Common Prayer.
We also celebrate Communion at our 9.30am service on the fourth Sunday of the month at St Andrew's and at 11.00am fortnightly at St Peter's. For these services we use the modern language form found in Common Worship.
Holy Communion is the service in which we eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of Jesus’ death on the cross. It is a very special time when we believe we experience the presence of Jesus.
If you normally share in the bread and wine in your home church, you are very welcome to also receive Holy Communion with us. If you do not wish to take communion, you are very welcome to come forward with everyone else and receive a brief prayer of blessing.
CORONAVIRUS AND HOLY COMMUNION
The problem of the coronavirus and its rapid spread has meant that the Bishops have issued some directions about receiving Holy Communion. As part of the Church of England we are expected to follow these directions and I just wanted to let you know what these are.
When we receive the bread and wine we understand that we are receiving special gifts from God. Sharing one cup is our normal practice and this will continue. Just to reassure you the science is that alcohol on silver provides an antiseptic environment and so there should be no need to be concerned about germs.
Sometimes, if people have a cold or are receiving chemotherapy and know that their immunity is low, the practice has developed of dipping, or intinction. This is when someone dips the wafer in the wine. It is this practice that the Bishops have said we are not to do. Think about it for a moment: you have the wafer in one hand, pick it up with the other and dip it into the chalice. I know everyone is very careful but, sometimes, fingers are also dipped in the wine! Yuk!
So, please...no more dipping!!
When people are in hospital it is normal just to receive communion in one kind (the wafer). This is not short changing them....it's just better for hygiene reasons and in case it affects their medication. I visit one lady who can no longer swallow solid food so she has the wine only. It's still Holy Communion: it is still a wonderful gift from God.
If you have a cold and feel it is inappropriate for you to share the chalice, please just share the bread. If you have a tummy upset, whilst I hate to dissuade people from attending church, you really should stay at home until you are better.
I know it feels a bit strange not to have both bread and wine every time but this guidance has been given for the benefit of everyone and we need to follow it. Thank you so much for your understanding in this matter.