Bills pass their final stages on third day of General Synod
Five Bills that were considered on the first day of General Synod on Thursday received their third readings on Saturday morning (October 2). All five Bills were passed by members.
Bill No 1 dealing with General Synod Representation seeks to set out the principles upon which clerical and lay members of General Synod represent dioceses, and establish a regular review of the size, distribution and membership of the House of Representatives of the General Synod. It seeks to amend Chapter I of the Constitution in order to establish a proportional and representative formula to allocate seats; to increase the functionality and flexibility of General Synod as a debating forum and administrative body; to provide for a regular review of the number and distribution of members of General Synod; to amend representation on the amalgamation of dioceses; and to achieve a more proportional spread of membership whilst ensuring that the voices of smaller dioceses are not lost.
Speaking to Bill No 1 Bishop Paul Colton welcomed the Bill and congratulate those who achieved what they didn’t achieve in 1998 or in 2001 and 2002. He said It was a sign that things could change in the Church of Ireland, albeit slowly.
Bills 2, 3 and 4 amend Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Church of Ireland.
Bill No 2 seeks to ensure that those who act as parochial nominators at a time of vacancy have within their ranks a measure of gender balance and thus assist in representing the demographic of the parish or group of parishes.
Bill No 3 provides that no person shall act, or be capable of acting, as a diocesan nominator with respect to any parish of which such person shall be at the time a registered vestry member.
Bill No 4 seeks to ensure that clergy who are nominated to a parish (or parishes) are informed promptly and to allow an element of flexibility for the bishop giving that person time to reach a decision, whilst at the same time ensuring that the Board of Nomination acts in an efficient and a timely fashion.
Bill No 5 seeks to provide procedures for the election of a bishop for the United Dioceses of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe in the event of the Sees of Limerick and Killaloe and of Tuam, Killala and Achonry falling vacant simultaneously