Communion wafers available in the postThe Open Episcopal Church is offering a ‘host in the post’ service to anyone who cannot attend Eucharist because of age or ill-health.

The Telegraph reports that Right Reverend Jonathan Blake, who officiated at the late Jade Goody’s wedding this year, has said that the move: “is also part of a drive to modernise access to religion, and even atheists and satanists can avail themselves of it.”

“Delightfully whacky as home delivery eucharist sounds, it's only the latest step in experiments in adapting Christianity to a changing world”, reports Stephen Tomkins for the Guardian.

The Times reports that upon the scheme’s launch on Sunday night, it will be available at postthehost.net, giving users instant accessibility to the church in their home.

The scheme hopes to realise the idea that the place of worship is beyond the confines of the Church, and bringing “Holy Communion/Mass direct to your door or your office”.

Blake tells the Guardian: "The sense they have to go to places to worship is something their parents did. The churches we work with have got respect for the fact that we're taking the church to places it hasn't been before.
"It is a mistake to locate a church as those who gather in a building. There is a large population who have haemorrhaged away from church but regard themselves as committed Christians.”

The Times reports: whilst the “millimetre-thick pre-consecrated wafers are free”, the postage and packing will cost £2 each per wafer. 500 wafers would cost £10.

In the past, new developments in our modern lifestyles led to a various communion wafers being developed. The Guardian reports that these included “patterned, wholemeal, crumb-proof and gluten-free”.

The Telegraph reports that Blake has invoked “bemusement” in the past when he once called Goody a “saint from Upshire”.
He has promised that the postal packaging of each delivery is closely considered to make sure it arrives safely and in one piece.

The Guardian reports that the Church of England has so far remained silent on commenting on the proposal, since “as a rule, [it] does not comment on the internal affairs of other churches”.

15/06/2009

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