The Church of England uses a formal order of service in worship, written down in the Prayer Book. There are two main prayer books in use in our Parish: the Book of Common Prayer (the version authorized for use in the church in 1662) and a modern version authorized in 2000 called Common Worship.
Holy Communion also known as The Eucharist
Holy Communion is a service in which we re-enact the actions of Jesus shortly before his arrest and death, when he gave his friends bread and wine inviting them to remember him through the act of sharing bread and wine together. The service includes hymns, prayers, bible readings and a sermon.
In St Stephen’s we celebrate Holy Communion using Common Worship, and gather together standing in an arc around the communion table to receive the bread and wine. The minister will administer the bread while the wine is usually administered by a churchwarden. We stay around the table until all have shared.
We invite anyone who is a member of a Christian church to share in the bread and wine, and we also invite any others who so wish to join around the table to receive a blessing.
In St. Olave’s church the service is more formal and we receive the bread and wine either kneeling or standing at the communion rail.
In St Pancras at the lunchtime service the seats are in a circle and the minister moves round the circle to distribute the bread and wine. The monthly early morning service in St Pancras follows the Book of Common Prayer, with no music and we stand to receive the bread and wine.
Meeting point is an informal act of worship, lasting about an hour, which is generally led by a member of the Parish rather than an ordained minister. It does not include Holy Communion. We usually sit in a horseshoe arrangement to make any discussion easier, and we often include material from sources outside the Church of England, such as the Iona Community. The service includes readings from the Bible (and occasionally from other sources) prayer for others as well as ourselves, usually one hymn, and either an opportunity for discussion or a period of meditative silence. Each Meeting Point is unique, however.