Church of England makes Sunday services non-compulsory

Feb 21, 2019 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian:

The Church of England has dropped a centuries-old requirement for all churches to hold weekly Sunday services.

Its general synod, meeting in London this week, formally approved a change to canon law to relax the requirement for morning and evening prayer in every parish church every Sunday.

The change, which will also apply to services of Holy Communion, will mainly affect parishes with small and declining congregations in rural areas.

Most rural priests have multiple benefices, with some in charge of up to 20 churches, but were required to maintain regular services even if only a handful of worshippers turned up.

The synod voted overwhelmingly in favour of of the change. Instead of Sunday services in “every parish church”, the rule will now say “morning and evening prayer shall be said or sung in at least one church in each benefice”.

It adds: “Each service shall be said or sung distinctly, reverently, and in an audible voice.”

Pete Broadbent, the bishop of Willesden, who leads a task group simplifying and modernising the rules governing daily church life, said the move was intended to bring canon law in line with practice.

Read here

See other reports from the Telegraph here and the BBC here.

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