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Support: Additional information for London parishes

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Answers to queries raised by London parishes.

Parish Confirmation

What if the Parish Confirmation is delayed?

In these difficult times many Confirmations have had to be delayed. It is our Diocesan policy (set out here) that since ‘communion before Confirmation’ is a departure from our inherited norm it requires special permission. In normal times the agreement of the Area Bishop is required before a parish introduces the practice of admitting baptized persons to communion before Confirmation, and this has to be undertaken following agreement by the PCC and only after a policy has been agreed and a programme of preparation is in place. This remains the case. However in the particular circumstances of the Covid outbreak, where preparation for Confirmation and Holy Communion has been underway, but the Confirmation service has been delayed, Area Bishops may give permission for candidates to be admitted to Holy Communion before Confirmation on the understanding that they are confirmed as soon as possible thereafter.

Clergy who have been preparing candidates for presentation should contact the Area Bishop’s office giving the names of those to be admitted and certifying that they have been carefully prepared, and have received specific spiritual preparation before coming to receive Holy Communion for the first time.  The Area Bishop should liaise with the parish to ensure that when we are able to bring these candidates to Confirmation they are confirmed as soon as possible.

We should maintain the important discipline of preparation as the approach to the sacrament and the Anglican norm that Holy Communion follows Confirmation, while making provision in the special circumstances in which we find ourselves to enable those who seek Him to come to the Lord’s Table.

Use of Church Halls

What should I do about hall hires or the lessee using the hall?

If you let your hall on a casual hire basis the hire for all public meetings can now be continued provided the advice from the government here is followed. The Church of England has guidance on this on page 8 of this document.

If your hall is leased to a third party, a nursery for example, it is for the nursery to make their decision based on the Government advice.

What do I do if the hall tenant says they cannot pay the rent?

In the first instance speak to your Archdeacon. Agreeing to vary when the rent is paid might be a pragmatic solution.

Food banks

LATEST ADVICE 21 May 2021:   The most recent guidance from Trussell Trust about foodbank operation is here:  https://www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/

PCC business

The following notes interpret the provisions of the Church Representation Rules 2020 and do not replace or supersede them.

  • Standing Committee will be the most regular route for making decisions in the current context – CRR2020 M31 sets out its power and responsibilities.
  • PCC decisions must either be “face-to-face” (inadvisable in the current context) or by email and/or post.
  • Any online or phone conversations should be minuted, but are not in themselves sufficient for taking official PCC decisions.
  • Those who cannot participate in online conversations must not be shut out of decision-making.
  • Decisions agreed online/by phone must then be approved via email/post (see CRR2020 M29 for the process).
  • There will be additional advice regarding APCM’s, elections and other matters in coming days.

Q: Can certain items of PCC business be conducted by email? For instance, the PCC wishes to appoint an Assistant Churchwarden to help to share the load of our current churchwardens who (due to the Bishop’s Instrument of 20 March 2020) will now be in office until 31 January 2021.

A: The Church Representation Rules 2020 now enables PCCs to conduct business by correspondence (whether on paper or by email) where the chair of the PCC decides that particular business can properly be conducted in that way (Rule M29’).

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