Admitting Children to Communion

Admission to Communion

The first group of children and young people to be prepared for Admission to Communion prior to Confirmation met and learned during the first three months of 2010, primarily during our 10am Sunday worship. It was wonderful to see their dedication and faith, and great to continue sharing with bread and wine with them at worship. Five of these young people went on to be Confirmed that summer, following some additional teaching sessions. The second group were prepared in the early months of 2012 and were admitted to Communion at Easter that year.      A third group were prepared and admitted to Communion in 2014 and a forth group in 2016.  

 Following discussion in the PCC, it was also agreed that when a group or individual who had been prepared for Confirmation could not access a Bishop's Confirmation Service for some months, that they would be admitted to communion in the same way while they waited. We have done this now with one adult and one young person.

To keep group numbers viable, we have agreed we will offer a full Admission to Communion Course once every two or three years only.

Below you will find the official Policy covering this process which was agreed by the Good Shepherd PCC last summer, confirming a commitment made some years ago in the Parish to the principle.

 

Church of the Good Shepherd
Policy for the Admission of Children
to Communion before Confirmation

Statement of belief

The Church of the Good Shepherd seeks to be a worshipping community in which everyone has a place. We believe that all who are baptised are part of the Body of Christ and therefore children should be able to receive communion, following appropriate instruction and in line with this policy.

The Policy

1. No one should be admitted to Holy Communion until evidence of their Baptism has been provided. However, it would be entirely acceptable for a young person to be baptised at the service marking admission (see 7 below) should they wish.

2. Children must be regular in attending worship and should have participated in at least one communion service a month in the year before they seek admission. This could include services at a church other than the Good Shepherd, or at school.

3. No child should be admitted to receive communion unless it is their personal desire and is supported by clergy and parent/s or guardian, in consultation with Youth Leaders.

4. Whilst recognising that children have a capacity for wonder and mystery we consider that admission to communion should be considered at the earliest in School Year 3, in order for them to gain some understanding through the preparation. However, we acknowledge that there may be children whose maturity indicates a lower or higher age. The decision to admit them will rest with the clergy, in consultation with the Youth Leaders, and with the child, their parent/s or guardian.

5. Preparation of children for admission to Holy Communion should follow a prepared course (e.g. “Welcome to the Lord’s Table” by Margaret Withers) and each child’s preparation should incorporate parental or guardian involvement and encouragement in the process.

6. As part of the preparation, and within the service marking that admission (see 7 below), the child and their parent/s or guardian will be asked to make a commitment that the child will seek full Confirmation in the Church of England at an appropriate future date.

7. Following the period of preparation the admission of children to Holy Communion should be marked liturgically at an appropriate time, with the suggestion that this be Easter Day. The occasion would be marked by the giving of a specially designed certificate and an endorsement on the Baptism Certificate. All admissions will be recorded in a special Register for that purpose.

8. Any child who has been receiving communion in another church will continue to receive communion at the Church of the Good Shepherd, in line with the current position in the Church of England. The Bishops’ Guidelines state: “No baptized person, child or adult, who has once been admitted to Holy Communion and remains in good standing with the Church, should anywhere be deprived of it”.

9. Those admitted to Communion prior to confirmation will be encouraged to continue developing and growing in their faith, along with the whole congregation.

10. Those admitted to Communion prior to confirmation will be encouraged to give serious consideration at the appropriate time to being Confirmed, as a personal commitment to playing a full part in the life and ministry of the church.

 

 

 

 

Agreed by the PCC at a meeting held on 9th June 2009.