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Standing Committee News

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met on Tuesday, 10th March 2020, in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, Dublin.  Archdeacon George Davison opened in prayer, remembering the communities served by the Church at this time of anxiety regarding the coronavirus outbreak, those who are currently ill, and those involved in health services and planning.

Archbishop Michael Jackson thanked the rector and parish of Holy Trinity for facilitating the meeting at short notice; the meeting had been moved from Church of Ireland House as the venue offered more space and ventilation.  Archbishop Jackson welcomed Bishop David McClay to his first meeting of Standing Committee.

Standing Committee elected the Revd Matthew Hagan as a new clerical member for the Diocese of Armagh and Mrs Jan Peach as a new lay member for the Diocese of Down and Dromore.  The following persons were nominated to continue as members of the Secondary Education Committee with re–nomination (if appropriate) to take place in March 2021: Mr Wilfred Baker; Ms Elizabeth Hassell; the Revd Robert Jones; Ms Kara Turner; Ms Hazel Corrigan; Mr Roy Crowe; the Revd Katharine Poulton; and Ms Joyce Ryder.

The Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory and the Revd Dr William Olhausen were appointed to attend the Provincial Synod of the Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland, from 9th–13th July 2020 in Swanwick, Derbyshire.  The Revd Alison Calvin and Ms Rhonda Willoughby were appointed to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, from 1st–5th June 2020, in Belfast.  The Revd Katherine Poulton and Mr Ken Gibson were appointed to attend the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland, from 10th–14th June 2020, in Lisburn.

The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe was nominated as Vice–President of the Irish Council of Churches; the position rotates between member churches and a formal appointment will be made at its forthcoming Annual General Meeting.  The following persons were appointed to networks within the Anglican Communion: the Revd Canon Andrew Orr (Environment); Dr David Hutchinson Edgar (Peace and Justice); Mrs June Butler (Family); Mrs Jacqueline Armstrong (Women); and Mr Robert Dunne (Safe Church).

The report and recommendations of the Priorities Fund Committee were received and adopted.  The Priorities Fund received 62 applications in 2019, requesting grants amounting to €1,472,120, and the committee recommended 49 grants totalling €726,115.  As recommended by the Priorities Fund Committee, Standing Committee resolved that the diocesan targets for contributions to the 2021 Fund should not be increased and should remain at their current levels.

Standing Committee approved proposed modifications to the Standing Orders and relevant changes to the Constitution, to revise the bills process, to be presented in legislation at the 2020 General Synod.  Legislation on General Synod representation and compliance with charities legislation was also approved for presentation at the 2020 General Synod.  Standing Committee resolved that General Synod 2020 will begin at 12noon in the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin, on Thursday, 7th May, following a service of Holy Communion at 10.30am, also in the Croke Park Conference Centre.

The following resolution was passed to mark 150 years since the election of the first members of the Representative Body: ‘That the Standing Committee notes, with great thanksgiving to Almighty God, that on 11th March 1870, 150 years ago tomorrow, the General Convention of the Church of Ireland, on the twenty–second day of its meeting, elected the first members of the Representative Body, and, furthermore, records its deep appreciation of the faithful work of that Body in the years since Disestablishment, together with the service of all its members throughout the intervening years for the welfare of the ministry and mission of the Church of Ireland.’

The Standing Committee was advised that the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 21st April 2020, was unlikely to proceed due to lack of business, and the next meeting is to be held on Tuesday, 16th June 2020.

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The meeting closed with the Grace.