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01 August 2009



Can you at least have proper wafers for people who want to receive in one kind ? Queuing for a bit of bread - alone - isn't very holy


Dave, Thursday's service at AS was one which I wasnt at, and followed the initial emails sent out by the Diocesan office (re. guidance to the churches in England) which was supposedly backed by the bishops here. During my vacation time, others have come out from the Bishop's office here which contradict that earlier email - unfortunately i wasnt present to forward these to my pastoral assistants (being on vacation...)

All Saints & Holy Cross wil be carrying on as normal, with elements in both kinds for all who wish, with similar conditions as those already outlined by Kelvin for the Cathedral. (use of anti-bac gel handwashes, no intinction etc).

However I am reminded by my mad scientist (one a virologist) and GP friends that as this is an airborne virus, antibacterial handwashes are very limited in their effectiveness. The virus may live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, antibacterials deal with bacteria not viruses, and what is being advocated is basic, sensible hand hygiene, nothing more. the best advice is for those who are symptomatic to stay home and call us clergy for pastoral care/support - our biggest concern is that they get well!


My dear brother David - Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedual to attend by novice service - it was a blessing to have you there supporting me and sharing in our simple, elegant little service as I take this next step with the Tertiary Order of the Holy Paraclete.
It was good for you to meet some of my friends especially Duncan the artist - he is a character.
with my love and prayers in Christ the King
PS I am sure that all the confusions over Eucharistic receiving of the elements will be resolved and made clear soon:)

Andrew T

I've always thought that a shared drinking vessel looks a tad un-hygenic even pre-swine flu panic.

Why not lead the Episcopal church back to its roots and adopt the taking of the Lord's Supper at tables as was, I believe, the practice in the Scottish Protestant Episcopal Church prior to Oxford Movement Anglo Catholic ways creeping in?


"Scottish Protestant Episcopal Church" (!) is not a denomination that I (nor most piskies I know) would consider themselves a member of. "Apostolic Order" sounds pretty inately Catholic to me; the endless splits of the comical free church funamentalists are hardly an example we should try to be following. Not least as the recently appointed Primus said that being "inclusive" was as one of the key values of the Church.

And, of course, the Oxford movement was a glorious revival. Delighted to see the venerable Newman has been beatified and will be declared a Saint.

Paul Robertson

A communal communion cup may seem unhygeinic (to our modern Western eyes...) even in non-pandemic times, but the reality is that it's an exceedingly safe practice.

The reason, I think, for observing some kind of infection control practice is not to protect the church as a whole from H1N1 flu - we'll all be potentially exposed enough outside church that what we do in church is only a small part of our overall risk. Add to that the fact that H1N1 flu for the majority of us will be at worst an inconvenience for a week, then there's a reasonable case for doing nothing different in church.

However, there are groups who are more susceptible - those with certain medical problems and possibly pregnant women and the elderly. The nature of church is that we will have vulnerable people every Sunday without anyone necessarily knowing who they are. So any infection control practices on a Sunday should be focused on protecting those who are vulnerable, even if it means some inconvenience for the rest of us.

The easiest way to prevent the spread of infection is for people who are sick to stay away for the week. There's quite good Biblical precedent for voluntary exclusion of contagious persons in Leviticus (which is the oldest known infection control guide we have).

With my professional hat on (as an infectious disease doctor) I think that St Silas' current precautions are a sensible and measured step to minimise what is a fairly small risk to begin with. H1N1 will be around for some months yet and has not yet peaked in the number of cases it is expected to cause. It is possible that further steps may be sensible if there is a huge increase in cases locally.

I'd be happy to chat with anyone at the church who has concerns.


>>>>>>>> There's quite good Biblical precedent for voluntary exclusion of contagious persons in Leviticus (which is the oldest known infection control guide we have).

Plus if we embrace Leviticus as a guide menstruating women would be kept away from church, surely leading to a far chirpier church atmosphere and a better experience for all! ;-)

Fr Dougal

We were never called the SPEC ever!! The College Bishops would have bopped you for that Andrew! If we bring in tables to sit at, why not also bring back communion tokens? THe 18th century SEC theologians saw our roots as Patristic, not Protestant. And kneeeling and bowing to reverently receive the Sacrament were enjoined and commended. This is all about infection control, not the introduction of whimsical litugical practices.

Andrew T

Tsk, tsk, Ryan, not very inclusive!


Evangelicals like me never are! ;-)

Andrew T

Fr Dougal, the image of being bopped by bishops is deliciously Pythonesque and I can almost hear the theme music to "Dick Barton Secret Agent" playing as I flee from them!

Perhaps a SEC historian out there could shed more light on this as I have read from one source that it was known for a period up until perhaps the 1950s as SPEC, although as with all historical sources one should of course check source material out. Sorry if I have been remiss in this regard on this occasion.

Whether or not it was ever so titled, the SEC is demonstrably a protestant denomination as it does not accept the authority of the Papacy. There of course follows on from that debates as to doctrine, worship and pratice within the different protestant denominations.

Whilst I personally am not of any particular denomination I can recommend to Anglicans the writings of one of their own, JC Ryle, on the subject of the Lord's Supper. I have yet to read the thoughts of anyone else who were as clear and helpful.



The Episcopal Church (USA) was known as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. The SEC was previously known as the Episcopal Church in Scotland. No other names have been used. The SEC regards itself as being catholic and reformed.


Andrew - the Orthodox churches don't accept the authority of the Pope either, but I wouldn't call them "protestant" ! And there's plenty in the anglican communion ( ARCIC etc) who accept - in theory - the primacy of Rome although they differ with RC theologians on the immplications on this. I'm not sure if someone who believed in the primacy of Rome but disagreed with e.g. Papal Infallibility and who would self-describe as "catholic" can be accurately called "protestant".


Man, sounds like the American Anglican Church had a dodgy past, prior to its glorious current incarnation as the inclusive and gay-friendly TEC! :-)


"A communal communion cup may seem unhygeinic (to our modern Western eyes...) even in non-pandemic times, but the reality is tha"t it's an exceedingly safe practice."

Any chance of producing some figures to back that up?

"There's quite good Biblical precedent for voluntary exclusion of contagious persons in Leviticus (which is the oldest known infection control guide we have)."

Actually, the Sumerians were using "antiseptics" long before that. Then levitcus (14) tells you to use bird's blood to cleanse leprosy - think H5N1. Sorry, but the bible is not a particularly revalatory medical book - especially if you take the creationist line of sin causing disease!


Kudos on the holy parakeet stuff too, David - I've no idea what it is but it does sound excitingly High Church!


Morning all

regarding Orthodox and Popes etc.

I think that due to the decisions of the 4th council? - the Roman'Catholic' pope was actually the first 'protestant'as he protested over their decision re the dual nature of Jesus Christ in conflict with the 'Orthodox' Church.


Fr Dougal

Ok, I think Andrew we have the makings of a sketch here - "Nobody expects the Scottish Inquisition!". It is quite possible that this was the practice in common with the Presbyterian style in the 1st and 2nd Episcopal periods under Charles I and Charles II/James VII. Save for the use of ther Lord's Prayer said together and a Eucharistic Liturgy, the worship was pretty indistinguishable from Presbyterian, including clerical robes.

GV is quite right on the titles. Ryle - well from a convinced evangelical Anglican point of view he is good: but John MacQuarrie (Scot, ex CofS minister, Glasgow Uni Don and incardinated American Episcopal priest) has an interesting take in his "The Christian Sacramnets" and "Pathways in Spirituality". (Also his son plays the organ in Holy Cross Knightswood.)

Ryan - the TEC nearly went very funny with its 1st Prayer Book and wanted to lose all sorts of Trinitarian bits like the Athsanasian Creed, but was hauled back by the High Scottish influenced Connecticut wing - led by Seabury. Theologically, it has some dodgily Deist tendencies!! Holy Parakeets are nuns who used to run Scottish Churches House and work in Dundee.

Cathy - I really had forgotten that!!

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