The purpose of the regulations is to allow
have been baptised but who have not yet been confirmed and who
are not yet ready or desirous to be confirmed as required by
paragraph 1(a) of Canon B15A” to “be admitted to
Holy Communion provided that the conditions set out in these
Regulations are satisfied.”
The regulations permit
rather than require parishes to admit children to Communion.
The Bishop’s consent must be first
obtained (more paperwork for Bishops) and the Bishop can decide
that no such provision should be allowed.
Before admitting a child to communion the minister would need
to ensure that it was baptized and that those having parental
responsibility were in agreement. The minister is required to
maintain a register of children so admitted.
problem with these regulations is Section 10:
“A child who presents evidence in
the form stipulated in paragraph 9 that he or she has been
admitted to Holy Communion under these Regulations shall
be so admitted at any service of Holy Communion conducted according
to the rites of the Church of England in any place, regardless
of whether or not any permission under paragraph 4 is in
force in that place or was in force in that place until revoked.”
This is fair to the child, but it has the effect of forcing
parishes which do not agree with the practice to adopt it. This
was the chief objection against the earlier guidelines and it
is now to be enforced by a regulation.
Aside from the bureaucracy the objection to the principle of
child communion is that traditionally reformed churches has taken
seriously the Biblical injunction against receiving the sacrament
in an unworthy manner. Therefore reformed churches have delayed
the admission of children to communion until they were clearly
of an age where they had at least a reasonable grasp of Biblical
teaching and had made a credible confession of faith.
and Communion - New Regulations on the Way. Cross†Way
article 99 (Winter 2006) David Phillips critiques the proposed
new regulations to allow children to take Communion
This matter has also been addressed in articles in Churchman
113/4 by Donald Allister and 114/4
by Alan Ward.
That the Admission
of Baptised Children to Holy Communion Regulations be considered.
Was agreed on 16 November
2005 with about 20 votes against. the matter will be referred
to the House of Bishops.