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Reflecting on the role and context of our schools

Canon Brian O’Rourke has focused on how Church of Ireland schools in the Republic contribute to communities and wider society, in his speech seconding the Board of Education report at General Synod today.

The General Synod is concluding at the Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry.

Canon Brian O'Rourke seconding the Board of Education report, with a focus on the Republic.
Canon Brian O'Rourke seconding the Board of Education report, with a focus on the Republic.

Canon O’Rourke remarked: “Our primary schools are embedded in towns and villages across the Republic of Ireland. Our second level schools, despite being few in number, have long been recognised as centres of educational excellence.” 

He added: “On a wider national level, the involvement of the church in education allows us the opportunity to play a formative role in the development of future generations of young people and to engage with government and the State in a real and meaningful way. At a time when the evolving diversity of modern Ireland is giving voice to a strong secularist understanding, as opposed to a tolerant and pluralistic understanding of life, we, as a church need to cherish and affirm our involvement in education and its importance in the communities in which we serve and whom we serve.”

Schools are “collaborative enterprises,” and Canon O’Rourke encouraged the church community to live out the mandate and duty that “the generations to come may set their hope in the Lord and not forget his works.” (Psalm 78)

Tribute was paid to Dr Ken Fennelly and Ms Eimear Ryan – who support the work of the Board as staff in Church House, Dublin – and to Bishop Ken Good, the proposer of the report, on his retirement.

Board of Education (RI)

The Board of Education (Republic of Ireland) represents the Church of Ireland in all educational matters applying to the State, including as an education partner with the Department of Education and Skills and other educational bodies.  It also supports religious education in primary schools under Protestant management and provides support, training and advice to primary level patrons and boards of management.

Dr Ken Fennelly

Church of Ireland House
Church Avenue
Dublin 6
D06 CF67
+353 (0)1 4125 609