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Standing Committee News

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in an online format on Tuesday, 23rd January 2024.  Ms Hazel Corrigan opened the meeting with a Bible reading, from Mark chapter 3, and with a prayer for people experiencing suffering, from Praying Together: Prayers for Primary School Assemblies (published by the Church of Ireland Centre at Dublin City University).

The Board for Ministry with Children and Families has been in operation since 2019, and has just completed its initial term with a focus on three target areas:

  • increasing the number of volunteers accessing centrally provided resources;
  • creating tailored supports and resources to specific contexts (such as urban and rural areas, and differing sizes of venue for activities); and
  • an improved communications structure for volunteers and staff working in Children’s and Families Ministry.

An extensive report covering the Board’s work so far was provided to, and approved by the Standing Committee, and recommendations were made for consideration by the Representative Body’s Allocations Committee.

The term of office of the existing members of the Board for Ministry with Children and Families was extended until June 2024, with the request that the nomination of new members be proposed at the June meeting of the Standing Committee.


Canon Gillian Wharton presented the report of the Honorary Secretaries, which welcomed the Ven Jim Cheshire (Down and Dromore) as a new member of the Standing Committee, and invited expressions of interest in representing the Church of Ireland in two positions on the Board of Christian Aid.

Ms Sukhneet Dhir was welcomed as interim Synod Officer, providing maternity cover.

General Synod business

The Honorary Secretaries’ report notified the Standing Committee of the final date for submission of bills for circulation to General Synod in 2024 – Friday, 29th March 2024 (Good Friday) – and the final date for the submission of motions – Wednesday, 10th April 2024. Late bills may be submitted no later than Friday, 3rd May 2024, but will only be available to members on arrival at General Synod.

To ensure time for appropriate consideration of Bills, members of General Synod who intend to submit a Bill were invited to submit a draft to the Honorary Secretaries (at honsecs@ireland.anglican.org) by Wednesday, 31st January 2024.  Proposers and seconders will be invited to attend an informal meeting of the Bills Committee, on Wednesday, 7th February 2024, and comments will be provided on the draft.

Further information on General Synod 2024 is available on the Synod website: https://www.ireland.anglican.org/synod/2024

The report of the Episcopal Electoral College Process Working Group was received and the Honorary Secretaries were requested, by resolution of the Standing Committee, to bring the draft Bill forward to General Synod in May 2024 for consideration.

The Honorary Secretaries were requested to issue invitations to the following to appoint representatives to attend General Synod in 2024: the Methodist Church in Ireland (two representatives); the Moravian Church of Great Britain and Ireland (one representative); the Roman Catholic Church (two representatives); the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (two representatives); and one representative from each of the following: the Irish Council of Churches; the Scottish Episcopal Church; the Rock of Ages Cherubim and Seraphim Church; the Non–Subscribing Presbyterian Church; and the Greek Orthodox Church.

Church and Society Commission

The Church and Society Commission (CASC) exists as an advisory group, serving the Standing Committee and engaging with government on particular issues, including issues of legislation.

Following a call for expressions of interest for membership of CASC, the Standing Committee appointed the following members of the Commission to serve until September 2027: the Archbishop of Armagh; the Archbishop of Dublin; Mr Ken Gibson (as an Honorary Secretary of the General Synod); Mr Neville Armstrong; the Revd Jane Burns; Mrs June Butler; the Revd Dr Andrew Campbell; Mr Keith Gardiner; the Revd Andrew Irwin; Asst Prof Caroline Elliott Kingston; Dr Claire Jones; Mr Steven McQuitty KC; Ms Hannah O’Neill; Ms Zephryn Patton; Mr Michael Trimble; and Dr Harriet Wilkinson.

The Standing Committee approved the addition of one further co–opted place on CASC.

The meeting closed with the Grace.

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