1 Training in the Parish
The Parish Priest is responsible for local training which will include practical experience as well as discussions on pastoral issues and the theology of administering the Eucharist. If local training is not possible, such as in a Vacancy, the Lay Development Group can help to arrange training at a nearby parish.
The candidate will meet with the Priest and a Lay Development Group member.
Practical experience is an important part of training. This gives an opportunity to watch and reflect on what takes place and to develop a relationship with the communicant. The PEA and Priest should agree when a confident level of competence has been achieved.
The Priest should be available for on-going support, especially if the PEA feels the relationship is unsatisfactory. They will also provide an opportunity for reflection on the PEA’s ministry and discuss any issues which may arise.
Some questions to consider with the Parish:
- What is a sacrament?
- What is Communion by extension?
- Where will the Reserved Sacrament be kept and how is access obtained?
- Are there enough service cards, books and Communion sets?
- What will you wear?
- How do you communicate those who have limited abilities?
- How should records be kept?
- What to do if the PEA is given a gift or money ‘for the church’?
- How to claim any expenses?
- What is meant by confidentiality?
2 Training in the Diocese
This takes place locally on two evenings or on a Saturday and is arranged by the Lay Development Group member.
Some questions to consider:
- How does the PEA respond to prayer requests?
- How should the seasons, collects and readings be used in the liturgy?
- How should the Eucharist be administered in a nursing home?
3 Personal Development Plan
The PEA and Parish Priest will meet regularly to discuss progress and further training. The Lay Development Group can provide a member to facilitate the training process. This will take place during and after training and will offer an opportunity to reflect on the learning achieved as well as identify areas which need further discussion or training support.
4 Commissioning and letter of Authorisation
During the training both the candidate and the Priest will have the opportunity to reflect and determine if it is the appropriate ministry for the candidate. If both are satisfied the Parish Priest will consult the PCC for their approval.
The Lay Development Group will be informed and the Priest will write to the Bishop for licensing. In the case of the requirement for permission to exercise a ministry of Communion by Extension; PCC approval is required and then the license is sent for endorsement by the Bishop. (A separate briefing paper is available for this).