Report of Commission on Ministry received by General Synod
The report of the Commission on Ministry was presented to General Synod on Friday afternoon (October 1). Proposing the report, the Ven Barry Forde focused on some areas of the commission’s work.
The three Bills presented to General Synod yesterday (Thursday) seeking to improve practice relating to Boards of Nomination comprised some of the work of the Commission on Ministry during the year, he said.
He also pointed to the Commission’s Advent Retreat. The impact of Covid had, in some instances, proved that necessity could be the mother of invention, he said, noting that last year’s retreat online saw an increase in attendees. The feedback was positive, he reported, and the commission looked forward to hosting the retreat again this year.
Archdeacon Forde paid tribute to three departing members of the commission: Archdeacon Terry Scott, Archdeacon Leslie Stevenson and Canon David Gillespie. He thanked Canon Gillespie for his work as Central Director of Ordinands noting his involvement in the ‘It’s Your Call’ video to promote vocations which remains available on the Church of Ireland YouTube channel.
The Commission has highlighted a list of potential activity. He said members have been exploring the delicate issue of how to address situations when there has been a breakdown in relationships between rector and parish. They have also been looking at increasing compliance demands on clergy and parishes.
“Being mindful of the faithful work of so many in parish ministry, we are also keen to support and help shape how the Church of Ireland might encourage existing and yet to be discovered new ways of being and doing ministry. For some time the Church has spoken of and used the term ‘pioneer’, and we look forward to seeing pioneer ministry and pioneer ministers – lay and ordained – grow and play a full role in the life of the church,” the proposer said.
The report was seconded by Hazel Corrigan.
The following were elected as General Synod clerical members of the Commission on Ministry: Ven Elizabeth Cairns, Very Rev Paul Draper and Rev Rob Jones.