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Cof E : can someone explain this admission catagory for me

(25 Posts)
abitwobbly Thu 10-Mar-11 20:39:57

At the heart of the Church:
Category A – 165 places Children of a parent or parents, who are communicant members of the Church of England, who normally attend a Church of England service weekly and who have been doing so for at least two
years;

or
Children who normally attend a Church of England service weekly and who have been doing so for at least two years (see Notes 3.5 (a) to (e)).

Communicant status applies to parents and is defined for Category A as: “a member of the Church of England who is confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed and has received Communion according to the use of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England at
least three times during the twelve months
preceding….” (from the Church Representation
Rules). Category B status is determined by the Church or denomination’s definition of the criteria of full membership.

My DH was baptised as a baby, as have our children, but I was not. We attend a small CofE church and I recieve a blessing but if I'm honest I don't really understand who is able to recieve communion and who can't???

Any help would be very welcome - thank-you!

happygolucky13 Thu 10-Mar-11 20:55:18

Surely the only thing that matters is your relationship with Jesus?

Be open and honest with the school, tell them just how deeply you feel about your Christianity and how you can't possibly let your children mix with children of other faiths. If this school won't accept you, then I'm sure you will find another C of E school which will - it may be a very poor performing school but of course that doesn't matter because the important thing is its Christian ethos.

Hope this helps, and I shall pray for you to reach the right decision.

EldonAve Thu 10-Mar-11 21:00:16

It all comes down to the reference from your vicar or priest

Does your DH attend church with you? Does he take communion? If so, then your kids are the child of a parent in category A (it says parent or parents).

abitwobbly Thu 10-Mar-11 21:18:44

Thank-you EldonAve and ChazsBrilliantAttitude yes DH does attend but has not been confirmed. After a few hard years away from church life he is slowly returning (long story)....

I would have a chat with the your Vicar about your journey back to full communion with the Church etc. That way he/she will know that you haven't just got religion for school admission purposes.

Dustylaw Thu 10-Mar-11 23:05:02

Please don't fret! These policies often look daunting when you look at them written down but really this isn't too bad. First of all, if your children go to church weekly (which every reasonable vicar interprets as meaning 'mostly') and have done for a couple of years then it seems like they qualify in their own right anyway - regardless of whether you or your husband is confirmed. Secondly, don't fret too much over whether you and/or your husband fit into Category A. For a start, the policy says 'ready and desirous of being confirmed' which covers a lot of people who are still 'on a journey'. For instance, you mention receiving a blessing, which means you turn up, go to the rail and participate. As others have said, talk to your vicar (who may well be very familiar with forms of this type!). It doesn't sound to me like you are just trying to play the system so don't feel that your church life is not good enough! Most CofE schools are just trying to sort the wheat from the chaff (or something along those lines).

meditrina Thu 10-Mar-11 23:10:26

A minor point, but are you on the Parish Roll? I don't think you have to be a communicant, and it would be further evidence of your belonging.

cat64 Fri 11-Mar-11 00:17:58

Message withdrawn

trifling Fri 11-Mar-11 09:50:03

To answer your most basic question, I think you can take communion if you have been confirmed and not if you haven't - is that what you were asking?

MaryBS Fri 11-Mar-11 09:53:05

It used to be in the C of E, that you had to have been confirmed before you receive communion. However many churches (the one I attend included) prepare children to receive communion before they are confirmed, like they do in the RCC. Both my children can receive communion, neither are confirmed as yet (aged 9 and 11, 11yo has been receiving communion since she was 8). Adults however tend to be confirmed before they receive communion.

Logopolitan Fri 11-Mar-11 13:18:42

Assuming that you are comfortable doing so (and your regular attendance over a long period of time seems to suggest that you are) could you not ask your vicar about being confirmed? Being christened and confirmed at the same service as an adult isn't that unusual (I wasn't the only one at mine) and the confirmations are usually held fairly regularly in each area. Even going on a course or getting a date would seem to meet the requirements of being desirous and make things more straight forward all round.

abitwobbly Fri 11-Mar-11 19:50:25

Thank-you all, you have been so helpful. I plucked up the courage to phone our Vicar and had a good chat.

Before I had children I went monthly to a fantastic baptist church, very modern, had so much for children, everything was clear and the language used was so easy to understand. However when I had my first child it was made clear by friends/neighbours that if a CofE education was what I wanted, we would have to move church, attending the very small, very traditional local church or other similar village ones.

It is very traditional and not really appropraite for the children as they have to be silent and the service is long. I find it very stressful as they are so young and my youngest 12 months is very on the go. But the right school is very important to me so we have taken them to the "family service" once a month which is still the same service only shorter! DH and I then attend the 8am service weekly taking it in turns. Its not ideal. I miss the baptist church....I felt like I was excepted.....it didn't matter if I didn't understand the language or set up, you were just made to feel like you belonged.

Vicar was lovely today, she did say the congregation was very traditional, older etc so she would look again at the monthly service and make it clearer that this is for babies with loud worship syles!

Thanks again.

aig Sat 12-Mar-11 22:23:49

Is this school oversubscribed?
If it is the Governors will apply the admission criteria absolutely as written. Which means that even if you go weekly you will not tick the box for being confirmed. If the children don't attend weekly they will not tick the box (for attending weekly) either. They will also apply the 2 year criterion rigidly - which means 2 years in October whichever year it is - not the following September. For example to fulfil the 2 year criteria for September 2011 - the family would have had to attend weekly (minimum 3x a month ) from October 2008 - October 2010.
This sounds a bit depressing but I have known quite a few people who have been surprised by how little flexibility there is in admission policies (where there are too many applicants for places).

crazymum53 Mon 14-Mar-11 09:02:13

Is this the criteria for a primary or secondary school?I would check with the school itself but most faith schools would accept children of other mainstream Christian denominations (Baptist, Methodist etc.) who live locally and attend regularly.

inspireddance Mon 14-Mar-11 18:02:48

You cannot receive communion without being confirmed.

If you attend weekly then your DC will probably qualify in their own right but you and your DH do not meet category A.

From what you have said in your last post it seems like you ARE just going to church to get into the better schools.

May I suggest, whatever happens, you go back to the religion and church which you believe in and feel most comfortable with.

LIZS Mon 14-Mar-11 18:08:22

"You cannot receive communion without being confirmed" This varies from one church to another even within C of E. Technically you are correct but it can be purely down to conscience.

mummytime Mon 14-Mar-11 18:25:03

As Australian Episcopalian allow children of believers to take communion there is now quite a complex decision about allowing children to take communion, which is normally left to an individual PCC/Vicar.
However you can take communion in a C of E church if you have been admitted as a communicant member of another church (pretty much any other church, and they don't ask which church). So I who was baptised in a free-Evangelical Church take communion regularly at the Cathedral, and used to be on the electoral role of another church.

aig Wed 16-Mar-11 18:17:04

The point about the admission criteria here is it states very clearly what this school means by a communicant member of the C of E:

Communicant status applies to parents and is defined for Category A as: “a member of the Church of England who is confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed and has received Communion according to the use of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England at
least three times during the twelve months
preceding….” (from the Church Representation
Rules)

Whether you receive communion does not matter - if you are not confirmed you do not tick the confirmed box.
I understand the position of the C of E is that children can be admitted to communion - but they are then expected to seek confirmation (before the age of 18 yrs)

sims2fan Wed 16-Mar-11 18:41:03

I would imagine that going to a Baptist church would also count favourably towards an application for school places as there is no Baptist church school so your children can't go to one, but you are Christian and want them to have a Christian education. It's too late now really but I would have thought that a letter from the Baptist minister to the head teacher stating that you are regular attenders would hold some weight. My mum used to be head teacher at a CofE primary and had quite a few children that didn't go to the affiliated church but attended salvation army meetings. The fact that they were firm Christians meant the school took them.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 17-Mar-11 00:11:52

The C of E school where I'm a governor holds a third of its places as community places, to which the church attendance criterion doesn't apply. Does this school not have something similar?

aig Thu 17-Mar-11 21:56:14

If you put the admissions criteria into google - it comes up with a school called Bishop Luffa School in Chichester. They do have places for non C of E Christians(30) and community places (20). The majority (165) are as described above.

meditrina Thu 17-Mar-11 22:02:37

Our local CofE school also has 1/3 community places. Christians of other denominations and members of other religions can apply for these as well as faith places (though for the latter they come after CofE in priority).

chooseanickname Mon 27-Jun-11 10:19:06

You don't have to be a Chritian to get into Bishop Luffa - I know of a Muslim who is going to start this September. All you have to do is find a liberal CoE vicar who will sign the form!

aig Mon 27-Jun-11 11:20:42

chooseanickname:
I suspect the Muslim has got in on one of the other categories. Unless one of their parents is a confirmed, Anglican Christian who attends church regularly - which is of course perfectly possible.

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