Thomas Chalmers and the Lord’s Table - Presidential Address, May 1993

Rev Dr Henry Sefton

The Presidential Address 1993 by the Revd Dr Henry Sefton. At the Reformation, tables were erected at Communion at which communicants sat. The Scottish delegates compiling the Westminster Directory disagreed with the English Independents that the elements be brought to people as they sat and a compromise clause used the words ‘about it or at’ the Table. In the nineteenth century, the size of Chalmers’s Glasgow congregations made it difficult to accommodate the prevailing practice of sitting at the table. There was controversy over his use of a smaller table at which to preside, with the elements carried to the people but the Assembly, while affirming the status quo, enabled a dispensation when local circumstances dictated an arrangement such as Chalmers had instituted. Chalmers had appealed to the Westminster Directory in support.

Volume 28 Lent 1995, p19