Church of Ireland Home

Day 2

Commission on Ministry’s Routine and Visionary Work Highlighted at Synod

The report of the Commission on Ministry was presented to General Synod in Armagh this afternoon. Proposer Ruth Galbraith described the work of the commission as both routine and visionary.

Among the routine work, Mrs Galbraith pointed to the recent pre–retirement course for clergy, the development of Ordained Local Ministry and discussion on the provision of a place of retreat and hospitality within the life of the church and said the Church of Ireland Theological Institute was exploring its role in meeting this need. The commission had also organised a small number of retreats.

Mrs Galbraith said that the commission was hoping to do further work in nurturing vocations and this year a conference took place on encouraging vocation. They envisaged the redevelopment of the September Ember season, she said, to emphasise the richness and urgency of the theme of vocation to a range of ministries.

Another area where the commission has worked hard on was the sensitive issue of clergy tenure. They were still unsure of direction and she asked to hear the Synod’s views on models of tenure which preserve the security and independence of clergy, yet have some measure of accountability and in–service review proper to the world of today. She said the also felt that clergy deserved some definition of the boundaries of their work, their duty of self–care and proper refreshment. All this needed to be done without turning them by stealth into employees in the conventional sense, she added.

Speaking to the report, Sarah Groves of the Moravian Church asked why fewer women were coming through for the stipendiary ministry.

Johnny Campbell Smith (Connor) emphasised the importance of a time spent in curacy. But he said there were some aspects of ministry development that limited the development of God’s Church. He said curacy placement depended on a parish’s ability to afford a curate. He said the early church shared the common purse and asked if this was being considered when it came to curacies and were there parishes who would benefit from a curate who could receive funding centrally to enable the church to grow.

Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson (Cork, Cloyne and Ross) suggested a common pool into which parishes pay in and the church could be freed up to allocate curates. He said that this happened in parts of the Church of Ireland and encouraged other dioceses to find creative solutions.

Canon Kevin Brew (Dublin) said there was no mention of non stipendiary ministry and said his parish had a non stipendiary curate which had opened up a tremendous resource.

John Clarke (Meath and Kildare) drew attention to Ordained Local Ministry and asked how it was funded.

Bishop Patrick Rooke, coordinating OLM for the House of Bishops,  said 27 candidates from eight dioceses would start training in September. The selection process was covered by the dioceses, some of the funding for the provision of courses would come from the RB.

Bishop Ferran Glenfield spoke about Momentum and thanked the Bishops of Tuam and Connor on the Ordained Local Ministry programme.

Our use of cookies

Some cookies are necessary for us to manage how our website behaves while other optional, or non-necessary, cookies help us to analyse website usage. You can Accept All or Reject All optional cookies or control individual cookie types below.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


These cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

Analytical cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage.