The Church of England issued further advice on 10 March about our practice with regard to Coronavirus. To comply with this we will only be distributing the bread at communion. There will be no sharing of a single chalice. We will share the peace without physical contact and blessings will be given at the altar rail without the laying on of hands.

If you wish to read the Church of England guidance you will find it at: guidance-churches

It may feel very strange to only receive the bread and not the wine and it may seem peculiar to share the peace in this new way. But this guidance also provides an opportunity for us to be more aware of what we so often take for granted.

The Sacrament Act of 1547, which is still in force states: “ ... the said most blessed Sacrament be hereafter ... commonly delivered and ministered unto the people within the Church of England ... under both kinds, that is to say, of bread and wine except necessity otherwise require ... ”

The theology and practice of the Church of England hold that if communion is received in one kind only (e.g. bread only as under these guidelines, or wine only when someone is unable to take solid food) then their communion is still valid and complete.

When it feels peculiar to not be given the wine, may it be a greater reminder that Christ shed his blood for you, may it stimulate you to pray for those who are affected most by the Coronavirus. When we share the peace in different ways take the opportunity to be aware of people more, taking time to share the peace well.

We will look forward to the day when we will be able to share the common cup again and shake hands in the peace. Those things that we will have missed will be the more meaningful because of this time of abstinence.

Events cancelled so far are things run by us where there is food or drink or sharing of objects by a number of people. So this week that is our Lent Lunch, Chatterbox and the Harden Lunch Club.