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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

General Synod 2021 

The 2021 meeting of the General Synod will be held by electronic communication technology from next Thursday until Saturday 2 October.

As is customary the Synod will discuss the reports of the Standing Committee, and the Representative Church Body and their various committees and commissions which provides opportunities to reflect on the Church’s work over the last year. There will also be consideration of new legislation. A bill will be debated which will review the diocesan allocation of seats. If approved, it will reduce the size of the Synod, in stages, from its current level of 698 to 597 and then to 534. There will also be proposed legislation to ensure gender balance among parochial nominators at the time of vacancies and to protect against conflicts of interest. As expected, following the decision of the Bishops of Limerick and Tuam to retire later this year, there will be a bill to allow for the election of their successor in the dioceses of Tuam, Killala & Achonry and Limerick & Killaloe under the jurisdiction of one bishop.

Whilst modern technology has allowed the work of the General Synod to proceed remotely there is, by common consent, no real substitute for personal contact. The business can be effected but for most the Synod is about meeting people. Arguably more real business is dome over coffee or lunch or through a quiet word in a corridor – hopefully next year.

The RCB Library has begun to reopen to the public on a phased basis, commencing initially with Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. As it is no longer possible to facilitate unscheduled visitors, and to avoid any disappointment, visitors wishing to view archives and manuscripts, or spend time reading from the printed collection, must have a pre–booked seat in the reading room in advance of their visit, through a new online booking system available here.

Visitors may reserve a morning slot (10am–12.30pm) or afternoon slot (2.00pm–4.30pm) to secure access to the Reading Room.  Booking for a given week opens at 9am on the Friday of the previous week and there is no need to reserve a desk if just borrowing or returning books.

The booking system allows visitors to maximise their time in the Library, as up to five items may be ordered in advance to be ready for viewing on arrival. Further details about the reservation system and how it interacts with the Library’s lists may be viewed here

A helpful instructional video on the new reservation system can be viewed here.

For the coming academic term, Thursdays will be set aside for students at the Theological Institute and other Members of the Library to gain access to the printed collection only. Click and Collect will remain in place for those unable to travel to the Library for printed materials.

These arrangements will be reviewed and revised in coming weeks, and it is anticipated that further slots will become available in October as society begins to reopen further.

Church Music Dublin has commissioned a second set of videos in which David O’Shea discusses organ registrations for repertoire. The videos may be found at the following link – Registrations for Repertoire – and will be of particular interest to organ students, and other interested parties.

St Anne’s cathedral, Belfast, has appointed Tristan Russler as its Associate Organist. A native of Perth in Australia, he was Assistant Director of Music in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, 2005–09, and since 2001 has been Director of Music in St Bartholomew’s church, Dublin.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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