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Day 2

General Synod welcomes Bishops’ Appeal relaunch but votes against name change

Bishops’ Appeal is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary at next year’s General Synod. A number of motions addressing the organisation’s name, membership and terms of reference were presented at General Synod on Friday afternoon (October 1).

Bringing the motions to Synod, Bishop Patrick Rooke, chairperson of Bishops’ Appeal said that the motions were brought on the basis of research the committee undertook last year in the Province of Armagh and soundings that were taken in the Province of Dublin.

The bishop said that the oversight committee had suggested a change of name for Bishops’ Appeal. He acknowledged that the name was confusing as it was neither owned or run by the bishops and it was not an appeal. However, he said he would vote against a name change as the name ‘Bishops’ Appeal’ was embedded in the Church of Ireland. He said the work of Bishops’ Appeal was made possible by substantial legacies amounting to more than half a million euro in two years. He felt this showed the importance of maintaining the name.

Members of Synod carried the first motion that General Synod welcome the re–launch recommendations for Bishops’ Appeal.

The second motion proposed that the name of Bishops’ Appeal be changed.

Speaking to this motion Jocelyn Sanders (Killaloe) said that a name change was necessary. Bishops’ Appeal had caused confusion in parishes he said and suggested the name Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for Overseas Research and Development.

Bishop Michael Burrows paid tribute to the Bishop of Tuam for his passion and commitment during his years of stewardship. He said he too would be cautious on a name change stating that the current name could be augmented. There was a high recognition of its brand and purpose in the Church of Ireland and with the international agencies with which Bishops’ Appeal dealt, he argued. While it was not directly run by the bishops, the name does challenge the bishops to bring Bishops’ Appeal with them wherever they go, he added.

Revd Ian Cruickshank (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) said the name was known but there needed to be more education on what Bishops’ Appeal does and what it stands for.

Synod members voted against the motion to change the name of Bishops’ Appeal.

A motion proposing that the new name for Bishops’ Appeal should be CORD was withdrawn as members did not agree to change the name.

The motion that the Committee be made up of a bishop (Chair), 3 representatives nominated by Standing Committee to serve up to six years and 11 Diocesan Link Persons – one from each of the 11 dioceses – to serve for six years was passed by Synod.

The final motion that the Terms of Reference be adopted was passed.

Bishop Rooke thanked members of Synod and said further motions would be brought to General Synod next year.

Iris Suitor (Armagh), secretary of Bishops’ Appeal advisory committee said they had been doing amazing work and had received substantial legacies this year. She agreed that clarity needed to be brought to the name explaining the work done by Bishops’ Appeal and the partners that they work with.

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