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 Issues | Questions | Changing Services

"Who is able to change the services used in a Church?"

Which services are used in a church is often a very contentious issue and therefore it is important not to simply argue from entrenched positions. It is wise to talk through the assumptions and reasons people have for coming to a particular conviction. Making decisions without talking through some of the fundamentals can be very damaging to a fellowhsip.

However, the following rules govern the services used in a Curch.

Canon B1 requires that only authorised forms of worship be used. This means the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the services of Common Worship. However, it is permitted to use modest variants of the BCP so long as they do not deviate from its doctrine. In addition Common Worship has a lot of flexibility and it is also possible to gain permission from a Bishop to use an alternative, usually on a short-term basis, so long as this is not incompatible with the doctrine of the Church of England.

Canon B3 determines how decisions are made about what services to use. The decision is to be made jointly by the minister and PCC. When the PCC and Minister disagree there is a fall-back position:

  • So long as the existing services are authorised then they should continue to be used.
  • Otherwise the BCP is to be used.
Therefore, where there is no agreement the status quo is to be preserved.


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