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Day 2

Call for Greater Collaboration Between Church of Ireland Committees and Groups on Local and Global Issues

A motion brought collaboratively by the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal and the Church of Ireland Council for Mission has been passed by members of Synod.

Proposed by the Rt Revd Patrick Rooke and seconded by Derek Neilson the motion called on General Synod to support the request of the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal and the Church of Ireland Council for Mission to provide the resources needed to carry out a scoping study into the potential for greater collaboration:

(i) Between existing Church of Ireland committees and

(ii) Between the Church of Ireland and groups associated with it.

The research should explore further areas for collaboration for linking local and global justice issues such as (but not limited to) hunger, displacement, homelessness, poverty, wealth inequality, unfair tax and trade, climate change and gender based violence. The finding of such a scoping study should be delivered to the General Synod 2019 and it should form the basis for decisive, focused and collaborative action on such issues moving forward.

Bishop Rooke explained that the motion was an attempt to ensure greater cohesion, cooperation and understanding among committees and groups involved with social justice issues. He said Bishops’ Appeal, of which he is chair, was modelling this approach with its history of partnership.

“We are aware that other groups within the Church of Ireland work tirelessly to achieve justice goals. Often there are opportunities to collaborate, but more often than not we are unaware of each other’s activities and so we work towards similar goals in silos instead of sharing knowledge and resources and working together to achieve greater awareness and greater results,” he stated.

Bishop Rooke added: “But we are aware that there are more possibilities, in the areas of climate change and gender–based violence, but also with hunger and poverty; crisis and relief response; homelessness and dispossession, migration and refugees, wealth inequality and unfair tax and trade. Mental health, well–being, disability and special needs are other important areas too. By finding out who is doing what about a variety of justice and human rights issues, we can identify areas of overlap. Here lies the potential for partnership”.

He suggested that the proposed survey, in highlighting overlaps and gaps, would enable better working practices, better economies of time and sharing of learning and better responses in addressing social justice issues here and elsewhere.

Seconding the report, Derek Neilson (Glendalough) said mission was the basis of everything we do and to ensure that is continued, collaboration between the Church’s committees was important. He said the motion would form the basis for decisive action.

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