UG Persons authorised to distribute Holy Communion
This user Guide sets out the Diocesan Arrangements which must be followed in respect of the lay persons assisting in the distribution of Holy Communion. It is consistent with the requirements set out in regulations made under Canon B12 and the 'Administration of Holy Communion Regulations 2015'.
(a) Deacons, Lay workers and Lay Readers: The Bishop will include in the licence of each deaconess, lay worker and reader licensed to serve in any chaplaincy or archdeaconry of the Diocese their permission to distribute the Blessed Sacrament in that chaplaincy or archdeaconry, at the invitation of the chaplain (or in a vacancy the archdeacon or churchwardens).
Ordinands sponsored by the Bishop or on official placement in a chaplaincy may occasionally be invited by the chaplain with the consent of the churchwardens to assist in this way. If they are to assist regularly they, like all other lay people, including readers in training, require the Bishop's specific Permission.
(b) General members of the Laity: Other members of the Laity may be invited by their Chaplain to undertake this role. Consistent with section 2.(2) of the 2015 regulations, the Bishop has appointed the archdeacons to issue Bishop's Permissions on their behalf. Application should be made to the archdeacon using the form available here. (which also provides a link to the form of the Authorisation which will be provided by the Archdeacon). The permission is for a set period but may be renewed. An archdeacon seeking this permission for his own chaplaincy may apply to the suffragan bishop.
(c) It is important to recognize that the Bishop's Permission is given to the chaplain (or in a vacancy the archdeacon or churchwardens) and not to the individual person. The Bishop gives the chaplain permission to allow the named person to assist as required. Since this does not confer an office on the person named, or a right to be asked to assist, the permission is not transferable from one chaplaincy to another.
(d) In all cases, at the invitation of the Chaplain, permission is given to -
Assist with the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament in either kind. The regulations do not distinguish between the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine.
Distribute during the celebration of the Eucharist; and to the sick and housebound.