By historic Anglican tradition, presidency at Holy Communion is restricted to presbyters or priests. Only those who are episcopally ordained are permitted to say the eucharistic prayer at the heart of the communion liturgy.Is this ancient restriction still appropriate in the twenty-first century, where lay leadership of public worship is now widely celebrated?
This booklet explores the ecclesiological issues at stake and argues that the time has come for gifted and trained lay ministers to be authorized to preside at communion. It is both a missionary and theological imperative for today's church.
Author: Andrew Atherstone
The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone is tutor in history and doctrine, and Latimer research fellow, at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He is also assistant curate of Eynsham and Cassington, near Oxford, having previously worked for churches in Islington, Reading and Abingdon.