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Hard Gospel Committee

November 2004


8 November 2004

  • The next phase of the Hard Gospel process has begun with the Hard Gospel Committee embarking on a broadly-based programme through which the Church of Ireland will address the complex and deep-seated issues that surround sectarianism and difference as identified in the Report.
  • The project will cost in excess of £500,000 over three years. With this in mind, the Hard Gospel Committeesubmitted a funding application for its proposed programme to the Community Bridges Programme of the International Fund for Ireland in September 2004. A decision is expected soon. The Committee members are also seeking further external funds for this project. The potential funders view it as a pioneering project which will, they hope, encourage other churches to undertake similar work.
  • At its meeting on 8 th November, the Committee discussed employment and management issues around the 3 full-time and 1 part-time positions envisioned. Two of these will be focused at the diocesan level and the third post will focus on reviewing, auditing and engaging with central structures and processes in respect of the way in which the Church of Ireland makes its contribution to wider society in Ireland today. Administrative support will be provided by the part-time appointment.
  • The Committee believes that the diocesan posts will relate to the vision of the pilot diocese as a hub- or host-diocese. They agreed that the individuals would need to identify people who can be trained as facilitators or project leaders within the diocesan structure to implement and sustain the project. The Committee is very aware of the potential scale of this project and of the demands which it will make on the Church of Ireland and on them in terms of management and accountability.
  • The Committee agreed a draft plan for strategic communications to support the project. They also agreed to promote the study materials relating to the Hard Gospel process again and to encourage parishes that have already used them to engage with some of the additional resources indicated in the study pack.
  • The Committee continues to receive support and guidance from Partners in Transformation consultants, Dr Geraldine Smyth and Rev Doug Baker.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for 14th December 2004

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