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A church divided by theology and practice: The case of the admission of children to communion in the church in Wales

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the way in which change in theology and practice takes place in the Anglican Church by focusing on the case of the admission of children to communion through the eyes of clerics in the Church in Wales. Surveys were conducted in 1993 and 2003, and to accommodate the changed status of clergywomen between 1993 and 2003. The chapter describes the classic locus of Anglican teaching on admission of children to communion, and the ways in which the teaching has been challenged and modified by Anglican reports and local practice since the publication of the influential Ely Report in 1971. It proceeds by proposing that changing perspectives in Anglican teaching are likely to be mediated at the local level through the personal beliefs and attitudes of the local parish clerics who are often responsible for teaching the laity and for determining local practice.

Keywords: Anglican Church; children to communion; clergywomen; Ely Report; local parish clerics; theology; Wales



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