Incumbents and Extended Oversight

With more and more Vicars/Rectors being asked to take on more parishes or even another multi-parish benefice into their ‘cure of souls’, I have written a paper about how the model for being an incumbent needs to be revisited.  It is a discussion paper to stimulate thinking and it can be found on this site at:  Incumbents and Extended Oversight

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2 Responses to Incumbents and Extended Oversight

  1. Nick Nawrockyi says:

    Dear Bishop David,

    I’m wondering about the future of church worship which might occur as a result of extended oversight. In situations like these, what are your views on using Communion by Extension?

    The Church of England seems to put a big warning sign on its extension liturgy, emphasizing the “special pastoral circumstances” and the “exceptional nature” of the liturgy. The notes from the House of Bishops seem to look at this service as a temporary (emergency?) measure until a priest is available. I think we know that priests aren’t always going to be available like that…

    By contrast, the Scottish Episcopal Church says in its preface to the service: “Communion by extension…has
    been part of the practice of the Church since the very earliest times” and its use now means that a church can “continue to shape its Sunday worship, when necessary, in harmony with
    the Eucharistic life of the whole Body of Christ.”

    It seems to me like an entirely appropriate way of maintaining a Eucharistic community in a large group of churches. Perhaps an early morning “Minster Eucharist” could become a united service, from which the reserved sacrament is sent out to other churches in the group/team on a Sunday morning?

    Do you think there’s any value in that model? Or should churches in that position rely on Services of the Word for Sunday mornings?

    Cheers,
    Nick.

    • Bishop David says:

      Dear Nick,

      You raise an important question. The approach I take to communion by extension is that it should never become the ‘normal’ experience of sacramental worship, but that there are times when it is pastorally appropriate. I am far happier with what you call a ‘Minster Eucharist’ and I have authorised such a pattern in Skegness. You might care to contact the incumbent there to gauge how it is working. I have tried to encourage others who are considering communion by extension to consider such a model as it has a vitality to it. The challenge is how to respond to the desire for extended communion, without devaluing services of the word.

      as ever,

      +David

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