The custom in the Church of England is that people normally receive Holy Communion after they have been confirmed. The idea is that they make a commitment to the faith before they enter the family of the Eucharist.
One of the difficulties with this is that children are excluded from sharing in the Eucharist. Even though their faith may be strong and they may be very regular in attendance at church, they are not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they reach an age when they are able to be confirmed. It seems wrong that children are in this way excluded from the grace of the Eucharist even though they have been baptised.
For this reason, in recent years, the Church of England has permitted children to receive Holy Communion. This can happen when the Church Council asks the Bishop and he gives his permission. But only after the children have received some teaching so that they understand that they receive Holy Communion carefully and thoughtfully. Obviously, no one fully understands the mysteries of our faith. But it is hoped we understand enough always to be careful and reverent when we receive the sacraments.
After careful thought, our Church Council has decided to ask that children should be permitted to receive Holy Communion and the Bishop of Derby has agreed. The teaching sessions in preparation for this will begin at 5.30 pm on Wednesday 22nd November with a view to the children being admitted to Holy Communion in January. The idea is that children from roughly seven years and above will receive Holy Communion. They need the support of their parents and they need to be regular in attendance.
Anyone who would like their children to attend this preparation sessions with a view to receiving Holy Communion, please speak to Fr. Mark, to Emily or to Bridget.
With every good wish from Mark Crowther-Alwyn