People all across the diocese have taken part in the launch of a diocesan pilot scheme for Extended Communion.
Launched at an introductory session on Tuesday, May 10, the scheme is designed to help benefices face the challenges of ministering to multiple churches.
At the launch representatives from benefices in the Wakefield and Ripon areas joined the learning community facilitated by the Director of Ministry and Mission, Andrew Norman, and one of the Clergy Development Officers, Cat Thatcher.
Participants in the online session joined from their homes and St James the Great, Ryhill.
The Director of Ministry and Mission, Andrew Norman, said: “Extended Communion is a practical response to one of the challenges of ministry in multi-church benefices.
“Benefices taking part in this pilot have identified a pastoral need for these arrangements and will share their experiences as they try them out.”
Provisions for Extended Communion allow bread and wine from a Holy Communion service celebrated in one church to be taken the same day to another church.
A lay minister or deacon then leads a service of Public Worship with Communion by Extension, with the bread and wine offered to communicants as part of the service.
The practice of Extended Communion was introduced in the Church of England in the light of declining numbers of clergy and the experience of the Roman Catholic Church.
Arrangements follow national guidelines approved by the House of Bishops in 2001, along with an approved liturgy, which can be found here.