Thinking Anglicans

revised advice on swine flu

26 November 2009

Dear Bishop,

In July, during the first wave of the Swine Flu pandemic we issued national advice with regard to the administration of Holy Communion.
This advice was based on information and guidance received from the Department of Health which was geared to the situation at that time and the projected levels of risk suggested by the potential course of the pandemic. Since then the scientific understanding of the Swine Flu virus has advanced, further experience of the course of the epidemic has been gained, and the first stage of a vaccination programme, targeted at those most at risk from the virus, is nearing completion.

Throughout this period, our advice has been driven by the interests of public health, particularly for the protection of the vulnerable.
In the light of continuing consultation with the Department of Health, and with updated information on the course of the Swine Flu pandemic, we believe that we can now advise that the normal administration of Holy Communion ought to resume. This recommendation is subject to the guidelines issued in June (http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/swineflu/communion.doc) which sets out good hygiene practice for public worship and which allows for local discretion in the event of outbreaks of pandemic flu in particular centres of population. We shall also continue to monitor the situation.

We wish to thank you for your patience and cooperation during this challenging period for both Church and Community and we are thankful that the pandemic has so far proved less severe than was feared.

Please pass this on to your colleagues in the diocese.

With every blessing,

+Rowan Cantuar +Sentamu Ebor

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johnRev L RobertsFr John E. Harris-WhiteViriato da SilvaGöran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

Thank God for the above letter. We in Edinburgh at the Cathedral have been on bread only, since the outbreak of the swine flu scare.

Pray God sense will prevail, and Advent will see every church returning to the Anglican Tradition of Communion in both kinds.

Fr John

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Us too. Communion in one kind doesnt bother me somehow. Makes a change and that can be quite creative / evocative too, for me…

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

We, in New Zealand, have been quietly following the international guidelines – except that, those who have wished to continue receiving Eucharist in both Kinds have been able to do so – with the proper safe-guards. No-one has left the Church because of the regulations! Some, sadly, because of their fears of ‘contamination’, have already been affected by the regulations, and will not receive from the Chalice. However! Christ is still there in all His Fullness. Deo Gratias!

Göran Koch-Swahne
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What about “intinction”?

Viriato da Silva
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Viriato da Silva

Intinction is often more germ-laden than drinking directly from the common cup; lots of different fingers in direct contact with the wine, or nearly so. I have read it was discouraged, though can’t remember if that was by the CDC, USCCB, or another source.

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

We were in Kuching in September at the consecration of their new bishop, and over 1600 of us received the sacrament by intinction, no problem.

Fr John

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

How typical that just as the medics are predicting an imminent rise in infection numbers,during the winter, the archbishops end the special provisions of comunnion in one kind, etc !

john
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john

The advice of these two gentleman on this matter always was balderdash (pity so many churches acted upon it) and its pettiness and fussiness eloquent of their failure to offer true leadership in things that matter. But of course it’s nice that normality has been restored.