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The Representative Body met on Wednesday, 14th December 2022, in an online format.  Members were welcomed by the Archbishop of Armagh, who opened the meeting in prayer.

The Archbishop welcomed Dr John Graham (Clogher) and Mr Mark Potterton (Meath and Kildare) as new members, succeeding Mr William Allen and Mr Ronald Colton respectively; Mr Stanley McFarland (Derry and Raphoe), Mrs Rita Day (Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh), Mr Robert Neill (Dublin and Glendalough), Mrs Hazel Corrigan (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory), Ms Heather Pope, and Mr Roy Benson (both Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe) have been re–elected by their respective dioceses.

Presenting the Executive Committee report, Mr Henry Algeo noted that funds continued to perform well and have indeed improved in the second half of 2022.  The Committee was strongly focusing on mission and compliance and ongoing projects included the review of Dignity in Church Life policies, drafting a new Climate Change Policy, and overseeing the delivery of grants (provided by Benefact Trust) to support the Mind Matters initiative and practical outreach to refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The Allocations Committee report was presented by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe.  Allocations for 2023 (net of support from the Church of Ireland College of Education Fund Trust) were budgeted at €3.95 million, an increase of 14% from 2022 approved allocations.  The increase takes in account inflationary pressures across a range of areas and also includes new funding of €190,000 to support the church–wide Pioneer Ministry initiative, which will be launched in February 2023 at a service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

The Representative Body received and approved the draft Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Policy Statement for 2023, and approved the draft revised terms of reference for the Investment Committee.

The following parochial re–organisations in the Diocese of Connor were approved:

  1. the formation of a new Group comprising the Union of parishes of St Aidan and Christ Church, the parish of St Mary Magdalene and the Union of parishes of St Simon with St Philip (Drew Memorial), all in the city of Belfast (with immediate effect); and
  2. the uniting of the parishes of St Nicholas, Belfast and All Saints, Belfast, as ‘the United Parishes of St Nicholas and All Saints’ (to take effect on 1st January 2023).

Mrs Helen Arnopp and Canon Nicola Halford were elected to the Stipends Committee, and Mr Mark Potterton was elected to the Property Committee.  The meeting closed with the Grace.

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