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Standing Committee News

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in an online format on Tuesday, 21st November 2023.  Mr Ken Gibson opened in prayer, with a reading from the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5, remembering in prayer those affected by the current conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and, in particular, peace–makers who often work outside the public eye to bring an end to violence and to bring about peace.

The Honorary Secretaries reported that the Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has allocated €10,000 (equivalent to £8,650) in emergency funds to the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem to provide humanitarian relief in the context of the current conflict in the Holy Land.

The Standing Committee approved the printing of a new A4 spiral–bound format of the General Synod Book of Reports for 2024.

Interim reports from the Future of Curacies Working Group and the Chaplaincies Review Group were approved; both will report back to the Standing Committee in early 2024.

The Future of Curacies Working Group comprises Bishop Andrew Forster; Mr Michael Johnston and Mr William Oliver, as members of the Stipends Committee; Ms Helen Arnopp, as a member of the Allocations Committee; and Canon Malcolm Kingston, as a representative of the Standing Committee.

The Chaplaincies Review Group comprises Bishop Andrew Forster; Archdeacon Barry Forde and Canon Lynda Peilow, as members of the Standing Committee; Mr Michael Johnston, as a member of the Representative Body and Chair of the Stipends Committee; and the Revd Alan Marley (University College Cork) as a university chaplain.

The Standing Committee approved a request that the Safeguarding Board give due consideration to the issue of gender identity in the revised Child Safeguarding Policy, in particular providing policy direction for contexts where a biological male wishes to use toilets, accommodation and bathroom facilities designated for use by females (or vice versa).

The Honorary Secretaries informed the Standing Committee that the following were approved to attend the Irish Inter–Church Meeting which met on 19th and 20th October 2023: Dean Kenneth Hall; Archdeacon Peter Thompson; Mr Glenn Moore; Ms Gina Copty; Ms Cate Turner; and Mrs June Butler.

A report on the MindMatters project, including the recent all–island conference in Dublin on Friday, 20th October 2023, concluding the current phase of the project, was recorded.

The meeting closed with the Grace.

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