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June 2017 Standing Committee News

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met on Tuesday 20th June 2017 in Church of Ireland House, Dublin. The meeting was opened with a Scripture reading (Luke 20.19–26) and prayer by the Ven George Davison.

Constitution Review Group

The Archbishop of Armagh paid tribute to the late Bishop Donald Caird, formerly Bishop of Limerick, Bishop of Meath and Kildare, and Archbishop of Dublin. Archbishop Clarke recalled Bishop Caird’s spiritual depth, rigorous integrity and very fast wit as well as his devotion to the Irish language. A moment of silence was observed as a mark of respect in his memory.

Mr David Ritchie provided an update on the Constitution Review Group, which has been formed as part of the Long Term Church initiative, and confirmed that the group will report back to the 2018 General Synod.

General Synod

Members discussed the 2017 General Synod, held in the South Court Hotel, Limerick, from 4th to 6th May, and expressed appreciation to the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, and the General Synod Chaplain, the Very Revd Gary Paulsen, Dean of Killaloe. The Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe was thanked for arranging the Synod Service at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, and providing warm hospitality; this included packs for delegates from the Mayor’s office and a welcome table at the hotel.

The Honorary Secretaries noted a suggestion for the revision of the Bills procedure; work is ongoing on this issue and the Honorary Secretaries plan to introduce a discussion at the 2018 General Synod, for further legislation in 2019.

The 2018 General Synod will be held in the Armagh City Hotel, Armagh, from 10th to 12th May. The Standing Committee approved a request that the Honorary Secretaries seek a suitable venue for the 2019 General Synod in the Londonderry City area and for the 2020 General Synod in the Dublin area.


The Honorary Secretaries conveyed the sincere thanks of the Church of Ireland Historical Society for approving a subvention to the society for the publication of The Church of Ireland and its past: history, interpretation and identity. The book will be published by Four Courts Press and members of Standing Committee were invited to attend its launch in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on 20th October.

A grant of €20,000 from the General Synod Royalties Fund to the Central Communications Board was approved for the development of a Daily Prayer app for use on mobile devices. The app will be developed in consultation with the Liturgical Advisory Committee.


The following members were appointed to the Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland: the Archbishop of Armagh (ex–officio), the Archbishop of Dublin (ex–officio), the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Mr Ken Gibson (Honorary Secretary), Mr Neville Armstrong, Mrs June Butler, the Revd Rob Clements, the Revd Dr Rory Corbett, the Revd Matthew Hagan, the Very Revd Maria Jansson, the Revd Martin O’Connor, and the Ven Andrew Orr.

In relation to the Irish Council of Churches, the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry was appointed to its Executive and the Revd Dr Adrian Empey and Ms Maxine Judge were appointed to its European Affairs Committee.

The Ven Brian Harper was appointed to the Commission on Ministry. The Archbishop of Dublin was appointed to attend the meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, to be held in Lampeter from 13th to 14th September.

The Bishop of Derry closed the meeting in prayer.

The Standing Committee was given advance notice of its meetings in 2018 as follows: 23rd January; 13th March; 17th April; 19th June; 18th September (at 2pm); and 20th November.

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