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Standing Committee News

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in an online format on Tuesday, 17th November 2020.  Canon Gillian Wharton opened the meeting with a reading from James chapter 3 and in prayer.

Presenting the Honorary Secretaries’ report, the Revd Malcolm Kingston outlined arrangements for General Synod 2020, which will be held through using electronic communications technology on Tuesday, 1st December, and Wednesday, 2nd December.

The Synod Service of Holy Communion shall be pre–recorded predominantly in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and will be available online from 9.30am on the first day of General Synod.  It will begin with a welcome from the Archbishop of Armagh at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, and continue with hymns and readings filmed in cathedrals throughout the island of Ireland.  The celebrant shall be the Archbishop of Dublin and the preacher will be the Bishop of Meath and Kildare.  Two Bills will be presented: the Bill on charities legislation that was approved at the March meeting of the Standing Committee; and a Bill to incorporate the Board of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, as a company limited by guarantee.

The Standing Committee agreed the recommendation of the General Synod Representation Working Group that the Bill on this matter, incorporating alterations proposed by the Working Group, shall be brought to the 2021 General Synod.  It was also agreed that each diocese would be requested to hold a forum at which General Synod representatives shall be briefed by members of the Working Group on the history and journey of the legislation.

Mr Jack Wilson was declared elected as the lay member of Standing Committee, aged 45 years or under, for the Diocese of Down and Dromore.

Archdeacon Ruth Elmes.
Archdeacon Ruth Elmes.

The Ven Ruth Elmes was appointed as the Standing Committee representative on the Church of Ireland Board for Children’s and Family Ministry.

The Standing Committee endorsed the co–option of the Ven Robert Miller as a member of the Church and Society Commission.

Archdeacon Robert Miller.
Archdeacon Robert Miller.

The following persons were appointed to the Disciplinary Panel, with effect from 1st January 2021 for a six–year term: Sir Paul Girvan PC (Chairperson); Mr Andrew Walker BL (Vice–Chairperson); the Ven Dr Stephen McBride; the Revd Canon Elaine Murray; the Ven David Pierpoint; the Rev Helene Steed; Lord Justice Stephens; Ms Claire Bruton BL; Mr Oliver Butler BL; Ms Claire Callanan, solicitor; Mr Michael Dickson, solicitor; and Ms Karen Erwin, mediator.

A report by the Revd Canon Ian M Ellis on his attendance at the Annual General Meeting of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, which was held online on 23rd September 2020, was received.

The meeting concluded with the Grace.

For further information please contact:

Church of Ireland Press Office 
Church of Ireland House 
61–67 Donegall Street 
Belfast, BT1 2QH 

Email: Press Office

Peter Cheney

+44 (0)7774 295 369

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