Standing Committee & RB
RB & Standing Committee News
The Representative Body met in the morning of Tuesday, 20th September 2022, in the former chapel of the Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines. The Archbishop of Dublin opened the meeting in prayer and welcomed members to a new venue venue for in–person meetings of the RB and Standing Committee; committee members were requested to provide feedback to the Chief Officer if they had any comments on the suitability of the chapel for future meetings.
The Archbishop welcomed Mrs Diane Ruddock (Down and Dromore) as a new member and Mrs Cynthia Cherry (Connor) and Mrs Helen Arnopp (Cork, Cloyne and Ross) who have been re–elected to represent their respective dioceses. The Archbishop also paid tribute to Mr Ronald Colton on his retirement as a representative of the Dioceses of Meath and Kildare.
In his report to the RB, Mr Henry Algeo, Chairman of the Executive Committee, noted that a grants scheme to support ministries working with Ukrainian and Afghan refugees is now open. Mr Algeo welcomed further progress in the MindMatters mental health awareness initiative – more than 470 clergy and lay members have now received mental health training, over 100 mental health champions have come forward, and over 90 applications for seed funding have been submitted; around €150,000 will be allocated to successful applicant projects.
The Representative Body recommended to the Standing Committee that Minimum Approved Stipends shall be no less than £33,900 per annum in Northern Ireland or €42,090 per annum in the Republic of Ireland with effect from 1st January 2023. This will represent an increase, in both jurisdictions, of 9% from 2022 in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The Representative Body recommended to the Standing Committee that Pensionable Stipend for 2023 shall be unchanged from 2022 at £25,498 per annum in Northern Ireland and €36,219 per annum in the Republic of Ireland, and that the rate to be paid by each diocese towards the Clergy Pensions Fund Solvency Levy from 1st January 2023 be set at the unchanged percentage level of 13% of the Minimum Approved Stipend. Recognising the significant increase in cost of living, the Executive Committee is arranging an additional interim payment to clergy pensioners for the next five quarters.
A members’ handbook for the Representative Body, prepared in accordance with the Charities Governance Code, was approved. The Representative Body also considered papers on the governance of Pioneer Ministry, chaplaincy in third level education, and a review of the Church of Ireland’s digital communications.
The following members were appointed to new roles within the RB’s committees:
- Mr Lyndon MacCann SC – as Deputy Chair of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Audit Committee;
- Dean Niall Sloane – to the Executive Committee;
- Mr William Oliver – to the Stipends Committee;
- Ms Heather Pope – to the Library and Archives Committee; and
- Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson – to the Library and Archives Committee.
Ms Hilary Prentice was appointed as a Director of the Clergy Pensions Trustee DAC. Canon Nicola Halford and Ms Hilary Prentice were appointed to the Board of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.
The meeting closed with the Grace.
Standing Committee News
The Standing Committee met in the afternoon of the day, in the same venue. The Archbishop of Dublin, in the chair, congratulated Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson on his election as Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, and thanked Archdeacon Robert Miller on his resignation from the Standing Committee for his service on Standing Committee. Canon Harry Gilmore was welcomed to the meeting as a new clerical member for Derry and Raphoe, succeeding Archdeacon Miller.
Dr Nicole Gallagher was welcomed on her appointment as the new Synod Officer, succeeding Dr Catherine Smith, with best wishes expressed on her new role.
Canon Malcolm Kingston opened the meeting with a reading from Luke chapter 8 and in prayer, asking for God’s blessing on King Charles III and his family, President Higgins, and all others in authority. The countries of Ukraine and Pakistan, and other places where humanitarian need is found, were upheld in prayer.
The Honorary Secretaries confirmed that the venue for General Synod 2023 will be changed from Croke Park to White’s Hotel, Wexford, due to a rescheduling of Croke Park’s match programme.
General Synod 2023 will take place in person on Friday, 12th May, and Saturday, 13th May, with the third day’s business to be considered remotely on the evening of Tuesday, 16th May, and, if required, Thursday, 18th May. As agreed at the January meeting of the Standing Committee, General Synod 2024 will take place in Armagh.
The Standing Committee approved the circulation of the resolution on housing – as passed by the General Synod in May 2022 – to be circulated to dioceses with a request for any relevant information about activity relating to housing and homelessness in the dioceses to be sent to the Synod Office for compilation and sharing within the Church.
The Standing Committee approved the recommendations of the Representative Body in relation to Minimum Approved Stipend, Pensionable Stipend, and the Clergy Pension Fund Solvency Levy.
The Standing Committee proposed that General Synod 2023 establish a select committee to review clergy tenure.
The following persons were appointed to the Working Group to Review Episcopal Electoral Provisions: Ms Hazel Corrigan and Mr Ken Gibson (as lay Honorary Secretaries); the Very Revd Shane Forster and the Revd Robert Marshall (as Provincial Registrars); and Mr Lyndon MacCann SC (as Assessor). A further member will be appointed by the House of Bishops from within its membership.
The Standing Committee noted the appointment of Mrs Judy Peters, Mr Mike Johnston, Mr Lyndon MacCann SC, and Ms Hazel Corrigan (on the nomination of the Honorary Secretaries and the RB Executive Committee) to the Implementation Oversight Committee with a remit to consider personal health insurance and sabbatical parental leave policies for clergy.
The Very Revd Paul Draper was appointed as a member of the Board of Christian Aid Ireland, representing the Church of Ireland as a trustee of Christian Aid.
Canon Malcolm Kingston closed the meeting in prayer.
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