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The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in Church of Ireland House, Dublin, on Tuesday, 21st January 2020.  Mr Ken Gibson opened in prayer, seeking God’s blessing on Bishop Andrew Forster – newly consecrated as Bishop of Derry and Raphoe – and His presence with David McClay, Bishop–elect of Down and Dromore.  Mr Gibson also prayed for the episcopal electoral college for the Diocese of Connor and those who would have oversight in the Diocese of Armagh during its forthcoming vacancy.

Bishop Andrew Forster.
Bishop Andrew Forster.

The Archbishop of Dublin, who chaired the meeting, paid tribute to the late Bishop James Mehaffey and welcomed Bishop Forster to his first meeting of Standing Committee in his new role, as Bishop of Derry and Raphoe; Bishop Forster was previously a clerical member, representing the Diocese of Armagh, on Standing Committee.  Standing Committee was informed of the appointment of Mr Peter Cheney as Press Officer and Mrs Pauline High as Property Manager.  Mrs High and Mrs Fern Jolley will jointly be responsible for the RCB’s Property and Trusts Department.

Standing Committee approved a subvention of €12,000 to support the publication by Church of Ireland Publishing of A Visual Window to an Ecclesiastical World: the Architectural Drawings Collection of the Church of Ireland, edited by Dr Michael O’Neill FSA, which will showcase the Church’s collection of around 9,000 architectural drawings.  This will follow on from a related exhibition at the Irish Architectural Archive last year.

An interim report on General Synod representation was circulated and discussed with a view to presenting a Bill for consideration by General Synod.

A statement on restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive was approved for circulation.

Ms Rita Day was appointed to the voluntary role of a director of Christian Aid Ireland as a representative of the Church of Ireland.  Sir Paul Girvan was appointed to the Charities Registration Monitoring Working Group. 

The Revd John Bond.
The Revd John Bond.

The Revd John Bond and Ms Gina Copty were appointed to attend the Ireland Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, from 16th–19th April 2020 in Belfast.

The following Church of Ireland representatives were appointed to attend the Irish Council of Churches’ AGM, in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, on Thursday, 2nd April 2020: the Archbishop of Dublin; the Revd Canon Dr Ian Ellis; the Revd Canon Gillian Wharton; Mr Ken Gibson; the Rev Gary Dowd; Ms Maxine Judge; Dr Michael Webb; the Revd Canon Horace McKinley; the Revd Katharine Poulton; the Revd Ken Rue; the Very Revd Niall Sloane; Dr Catherine Smith; Ms Sarah Crawford; Mr Philip McKinley; the Revd Cathy Hallissey; the Revd David White; and Ms Gina Copty.  In addition, the Bishop of Clogher, the Bishop of Tuam, and Dr Kenneth Milne are members of the Irish Council of Churches and may attend as such.

The Honorary Secretaries were requested to issue invitations to the Irish Council of Churches and the following individual Churches to appoint representatives to attend the General Synod in 2020: Presbyterian Church; Methodist Church; Roman Catholic Church; Moravian Church; Church in Wales; Rock of Ages Cherubim and Seraphim; Salvation Army; and Romanian Orthodox Church.

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross closed the meeting in prayer.

For further information please contact:

Church of Ireland Press Office 
Church of Ireland House 
61–67 Donegall Street 
Belfast, BT1 2QH 

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 (from NI)
Tel: (048) 9082 8880 (from RoI)
Email: Press Office 

Peter Cheney

+44 (0)7774 295369

Janet Maxwell

+353 (0)87 948 4412