Anglican parish can’t serve tea and biscuits from altar

A Church of England parish has had its request to serve refreshments from the altar in its church knocked back.

Worshippers at St Michael and All Angels Church in Uffington, Lincolnshire, wanted their oak altar to double up as a place to “serve refreshments”.

But Mark Bishop, chancellor for Lincoln, and a judge of the Church of England’s Consistory Court, decided the altar could only be used for worship, not to serve snacks.

He ruled that “an interchangeable use for the altar” was certainly not acceptable.

The chancellor said a “decent table of wood, stone or other suitable material” should be provided in every church or chapel for celebration of Holy Communion.

What was being proposed did not fulfil the obligation of churchwardens to keep the Lord’s Table in a “sufficient and seemly manner”.

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