Women Bishops and the Anglican Communion Covenant are not the only items of business at this month’s General Synod. There is also this diocesan synod motion from Southwell and Nottingham, which will be debated on the morning of Wednesday 21 November.
“That this Synod request that Canon B 12 and the Regulations taking effect under it be amended so that:
(a) the Holy Sacrament may be distributed by any authorized regular communicant (including children admitted to the Holy Communion under the Admission of Baptised Children to Holy Communion Regulations 2006);
(b) if the diocesan bishop agrees, the necessary authorization may be given in relation to any parish by the incumbent, priest in charge or (during a vacancy) rural dean; and
(c) no person shall be authorized to distribute the Holy Sacrament without the support of the parochial church council of the parish or, where the Holy Communion is celebrated in a school and the person concerned is a child, of the head teacher of the school.‟
There are background papers from the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (GS 1881A) and the Secretary General (GS 1881B). It is clear from the first of these papers that the prime purpose of this motion is to allow (some) unconfirmed children to distribute holy communion.
David Pocklington of the Law & Religion UK blog has summarised these papers and added his own comments in this article: Children, Confirmation and Communion?
The full texts of the 2006 regulations and Canons B 12 and B 15A referred to above are available online.
Canon B 12 Of the ministry of the Holy Communion
Canon B 15A Of the admission to Holy Communion