The comment article by Muriel Porter in last week’s Church Times is now available to non-subscribers.
Sydney thwarted on lay presidency
THE DECISION of the Appellate Tribunal rejecting lay and diaconal presidency at the eucharist is the latest setback for the diocese of Sydney in its quest to find a means of allowing lay people and deacons to fulfil this function.
Since the 1990s, numerous attempts have failed, but this decision is the most serious, because the diocese’s current ordination policy is based on the premise that deacons can (in Sydney’s preferred terminology) administer the Lord’s Supper.
Under the policy that has been introduced in recent years, ordination as priests (or presbyters, as Sydney calls them) is restricted only to rectors of parishes. At least one newly appointed rector has been ordained priest in the same service in which he was inducted into his first parish.
Under this policy, all curates, senior assistant clergy, and chaplains are expected to remain deacons. Particularly in chaplaincy situations, the celebration of holy communion will, in time, become dependent almost entirely on diaconal presidency…
The accompanying news report, linked previously, is here.