General Synod 2021 draws to a close
The second online General Synod has drawn to a close with the final session of the three day meeting concluding on Saturday morning (October 2).
Honorary Secretary Canon Gillian Wharton thanked everyone who helped General Synod run so successfully. She noted that Synod struggled online last year but enormous work had been undertaken by staff to ensure that it ran smoothly in 2021. She reserved special thanks for Jonathan Hull, DCO of Armagh, for his support. She also thanked Janet Maxwell, Head of Synod Services and Catherine Smith, Synod Officer, along with “a whole raft of other staff”.
She said they were all conscious of the staff of Church House who had been working remotely. Canon Wharton paid tribute to Peter Connor in Church House Dublin who will retire later this year. She said all the clergy were grateful to Peter and were reassured that he was looking after their pensions.
She praised the attendance of members of Synod and noted that in 30 years she did not believe there were 400 people in attendance on the final day. “The figures were extraordinary,” she commented. Proposing the final motion of General Synod 2021 on the Synod Journal she also thanked the Archbishop of Armagh for guiding members through another Zoom Synod.
Archbishop John McDowell thanked the honorary secretaries. He said 2021’s Synod was as good a Zoom Synod as we are likely to get and noted that there had been a lot of participation. But nothing compared to the real thing, he said adding that he was looking forward, hopefully, to meeting next year in Croke Park.
He paid a special tribute to Jonathan Hull who had been involved in everything from the technical build up right to the last minute of Synod. “It has been an enormous task for someone who is part time DCO of Armagh,” he stated.