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January 2017 Standing Committee News

Ms Hazel Corrigan, the new lay Honorary Secretary for the Southern Province of the Church of Ireland.
Ms Hazel Corrigan, the new lay Honorary Secretary for the Southern Province of the Church of Ireland.

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met on Tuesday 24th January 2017 in Church of Ireland House, Dublin. The Revd Gillian Wharton opened in prayer and included an intercession for greater co–operation between Churches in the context of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Ms Hazel Corrigan (Cashel) was elected as a lay Honorary Secretary for the Southern Province, following the retirement of Mr Sam Harper. Her nomination was proposed by Mrs Joan Burton and seconded by Mr Richard Codd. Ms Corrigan has served as a member of the Representative Body for the last two years and was formerly a member of Standing Committee between 2012 and 2015. A businesswoman in the agri–food sector, she is also a previous World Secretary of the Girls’ Friendly Society.

General Synod

The Honorary Secretaries notified members of Standing Committee of the following deadlines for General Synod, which takes place on 4th–6th May in the South Court Hotel, Limerick:

• receipt of Bills (for circulation): Thursday, 23rd March;
• receipt of Motions (for circulation): Tuesday, 4th April;
• advance receipt of Requests for Information: Thursday, 27th April;
• receipt of Petitions: Thursday, 27th April;
• late Bills: Thursday, 27th April.

In all cases, documents should be sent to the Honorary Secretaries at Church of Ireland House, Rathmines, Dublin 6, or by email to honsecs@ireland.anglican.org. Forms are available at www.synod.ireland.anglican.org Applications for display stands at General Synod should be submitted by Monday, 20th February.

A small reprint of the current edition of The Book of Common Prayer was approved. The Liturgical Advisory Committee’s Working Group on The Book of Common Prayer was asked to take forward the reprint. This will consist of approximately 1,500 copies, bound as pew and presentation books, with the latter available as gifts for Confirmations.

Funding

Presentations on the Church Fabric and Development Fund and the parish resources section (on the Church of Ireland website) were made by the Chief Officer and Secretary General, Mr David Ritchie. Standing Committee approved guidelines for the implementation of the fund, as submitted by the Representative Body. The scope of the fund relates to proceeds from the sale of pre–Disestablishment properties which are vested in the RCB, insurance and other donations. Constitutional amendments approved by General Synod in 2016 allow the Church Fabric and Development Fund to be administered for the development of the long–term mission of parishes as well as the restoration of fabric. This incorporates a central fund for supporting a small number of strategic mission initiatives and local funds for use in mission purposes by the parish owning the investment.

Parish resources

The Parish Resources section (www.ireland.anglican.org/parish–resources) covers select vestries, people and community (including Dignity in Church Life and Safeguarding Trust resources), parish finances, and generous giving. Resources on land and buildings will follow later this year. This project forms part of the Long Term Church initiative.

Open letter

A response to an open letter on the future of Europe from the Conference of European Churches was approved by Standing Committee. The Revd Canon Niall Sloane (Dublin) was appointed as a Church of Ireland representative on the Irish Inter–Church Committee for the period of one year. The Revd Suzanne Cousins (Raphoe) was appointed to the Commission on Christian Unity and Dialogue and its Inter Faith Working Group.

Appointments

Ms Ruth Handy and Dr Kenneth Milne were appointed to represent the Church of Ireland at the annual meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in the High School, Rathgar, on 20th–23rd April. Mr Ken Gibson closed the meeting in prayer.

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