Over the last month or so we have been making our own bread for communion. The bread is made to a similar recipe which would have been used in Jesus’ time. With one exception we are using gluten free flour. So why do we do this?
First off the bread and wine that we offer to God in communion symbolises all of us and all that we are. In offering up the bread we are giving back to God all our thanks for the goodness of our world and our lives. We are also offering up to God our hopes for the future and the pains that we suffer. We offer up all these prayers as a church family. Like a family meal someone works to produce the meal that we all enjoy. The bread being made by one of our church family reminds us that we are one family and we all bring something valuable to the table. It’s not like the bake off where we scrutinise the baking, it is simply that we offer our best. This is the same in all aspects of church life, we all offer what we can and do our best. All that we do is valued. The bread is offered up as a whole showing us all working together in unity. In breaking the bread we show that each of us is an individual part of that greater whole.
The second reason is to do with those words ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ In communion we remember the Last Supper and using similar bread to what Jesus used helps us make that connection. For 2000 years Christians have done just that remembered not just the Last Supper but all that Jesus has done for us. Communion is a real tangible link between what we do week by week at Christ Church and what is done all over the world and throughout the last 2000 years.
The final reason is that by using gluten free bread everyone has exactly the same bread. This is important because before God we are all of equal worth. Everyone, each member of the church family is equal in value. We all receive the blessing of the sacrament from the same acts of Jesus so we all receive the same bread no matter who we are.
So far after launching the vision project in October we have received many good responses from across our church family. Each of us has had the opportunity to have their say in moving the church forward. This is a brilliant thing as it allows us to put the values of welcome and care into real practice. Just like the bread being made by one of the family each week, we all offer up our ideas for the family to discuss and decide together.
Over the next few months the PCC, worship committee and property committee will go over the ideas and come up with a plan to move us forward. All the ideas related to worship will go to the worship committee for review. The ideas about property will go to the property committee and then to the Church council (PCC). I’m really pleased that we have been able to work as a family so well over the last years and know that this will continue as we start the next chapter in our life as a church family.
Fr Hywel Snook, Parish Priest.