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The Representative Body met on Wednesday, 9th December 2020, in an online format.  The Archbishop of Armagh opened with prayer and welcomed Mrs Ethne McCord (Clogher) and the Revd Nicola Halford (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) who have been elected by their respective dioceses to the membership of the Representative Body.  Mr Leslie Ruttle was also co–opted to its membership.

Mr Henry Saville reported that General Funds had recovered by the end of November to the level held at the start of the year and that trends in unit trusts and pension funds were moving in the right direction; projections would be made in early 2021 in relation to the way ahead for central finances.

The RB approved a recommendation by the Executive Committee that the outsourcing of the management of in–house funds to external fund managers be approved; the decision will not result in any job losses among members of staff.  Mr Kevin Bowers explained that the decision was taken in light of risks and regulations in the changing financial services environment, and recorded the Executive Committee’s thanks to the investment staff team in Church House, Dublin, for their performance.

The RB received and adopted recommendations from the Allocation Committee for allocations expenditure in 2021.  Allocations, net of support from the Stipends Fund, are budgeted at €3,628,121 for the year ahead, an increase of 3.1% on 2020 approved allocations.

The RB received and adopted the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy and Policy on Climate Change for 2021, being unchanged from 2020, as submitted by the Investment Committee and approved by the Executive Committee.  Mr Bowers noted that the RCB is well on track to achieve the target of fully divesting from fossil fuel stocks by 2022.

Mr Lyndon McCann provided a report on the implementation of charities legislation, including the assistance provided by the Synod Services Department in Church House, Dublin, to prepare parishes for registration as charities in the Republic of Ireland, and the preparation of a template to allow for compliance with the Charities Governance Code in the same jurisdiction.  The Archbishop of Armagh conveyed the RB’s thanks to Mrs Janet Maxwell and to her department for their work on behalf of dioceses and parishes.

Appointments

The following persons were appointed to fill a number of casual committee vacancies: Mr Robert Neill to the Executive Committee; Mr Geoffrey Perrin as adviser to the Executive Committee; the Ven Stephen McBride to the Property Committee; and the Bishop of Cashel to the Library and Archives Committee.

The Ven Barry Forde was appointed as a Director of the Clergy Pensions Trustee DAC, on the nomination of the Executive Committee.

The scheduled meetings of the Representative Body for 2021 are as follows:

Tuesday, 9th March (2.00pm);

Friday, 14th May (9.30am) – at General Synod;

Tuesday, 21st September (10.30am);

Wednesday, 8th December (2.00pm).

The meeting closed 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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