Diocese of Manchester

    Gluten intolerance and the chalice

    We are becoming increasingly aware of the severe reaction some people have to gluten. As a result, churches are now used to providing gluten-free bread in services of Holy Communion. However, what is often overlooked is that dipping wafers in the wine can introduce gluten which others then drink.

    It is already advised nationally that, for reasons of hygiene, the intinction of wafers should be avoided. When a wafer is given into the hands of a communicant, it may become contaminated by germs lying on the skin. Intincting the wafer then introduces those germs directly into the wine; there is also the possibility of finger tips inadvertently dipping into the liquid.

    Please keep these considerations in mind when reviewing your practice. Should a communicant not wish to drink from the chalice, perhaps through having a heavy cold, then he or she may be assured that to receive the sacrament in one kind alone (bread or wine) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety.

    Bishop David

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400