Public Worship with Communion by Extension

Guidance for parishes

The Bishop’s explicit permission is required for the use of a service of Public Worship with Communion by Extension. An application form to be completed and returned to the Bishop’s Office can be found here: Word format | PDF format. In completing the application form, you should consider the following guidance to help you decide whether Communion by Extension would be appropriate in your particular situation:

  • Guidelines issued by the House of Bishops, which can be found here
  • The Notes to the authorised liturgy for this service, which can be found here

Please also note the following:

  1. To quote the Guidelines: ‘In making authorized provision for Communion by Extension, the House of Bishops has principally in mind the needs of a single cure with a number of authorized places of worship, or a group or team ministry. In such circumstances worshippers gathered in one of the places where Holy Communion has not been celebrated may receive communion by extension from a church where Holy Communion is celebrated, with a minimal interval of time between the services.’
  2. Permission would be granted only in relation to specific pastoral circumstances and for a particular occasion or limited period and a congregation should not come to rely mainly upon this means of eucharistic participation.
  3. Normally, only a deacon, Reader or Authorised Lay Minister would be authorised to lead such services, and there would need to be exceptional circumstances for permission to be granted to others.
  4. Those specifically authorised to lead such services should receive appropriate training by the incumbent, Area Dean or other priest with pastoral oversight of the parish, or as part of their ALM training.
  5. An authorisation to assist in the distribution of the sacrament under Canon B12 may include an authorisation take the Reserved Sacrament to the sick and housebound, but it does not authorise that person to lead a service of Communion by Extension. It does, however, authorise them to assist in the distribution of the sacrament in such a service.

Public Worship with Communion by Extension (Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England) (2001) published by Church House Publishing, contains the authorised liturgy – Order One and Two and a form of preparation – together with the Guidelines and Notes referred to above.

Please contact the Bishop’s Office, your Area Dean or Archdeacon, if you require further advice in relation to Communion by Extension or the procedure for applying for permission.

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