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The Representative Body met in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, Dublin, on Tuesday, 10th March.  The Archbishop of Dublin, in the chair, thanked the rector and parish of Holy Trinity for facilitating the meeting of the RB in their premises; the meeting had been moved from Church of Ireland House as the venue offered more space and ventilation for members attending the meeting.  The Archbishop welcomed Bishop David McClay to his first meeting of the RB in his new capacity, and also Sir Paul Girvan who was also attending his first meeting.

In presenting the annual report of the RCB for approval by the meeting before presentation in due course at General Synod, both the Chief Officer, David Ritchie, and the Head of Finance, Mrs Kate Williams, made brief presentations; they spoke respectively on some of the specific work delivered by Church House staff during the course of the year, and the financial outturn for 2019 together with budget out–turn for 2020 and the prospects for 2020.

Mr Ritchie reaffirmed the mission of the staff of the Representative Church Body – to support the mission and ministry of the Church of Ireland.  Mr Ritchie reported progress in recent years, including the development of Parish Resources, the digitisation of trust records, and support for the Church in complying with GDPR legislation.

The level of contribution from each diocese for 2021 towards the cost of the financing of the episcopacy was set at the reduced rate of 6.3% (down from 6.4%).

The rate of contribution from each diocese for 2021 towards the cost of safeguarding was set at the unchanged rate of 0.9%.

Both rates are percentages of the Minimum Approved Stipend (in force at 1st January 2021) multiplied by the sum of the number of cures, including vacant cures, in each diocese (at 30th June 2020).

The following resolution was passed to mark 150 years since the election of the first members of the Representative Body: ‘That the Representative Church Body 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.’

Ms Julie Beck was elected as a member of the Audit Committee following the resignation of Mr Michael Johnston from the committee.

The Representative Body approved revised Diocesan by–laws in relation to the Connor Diocesan Glebes Committee, the appointment of a vicar for St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway, and the formation of a union of the parishes of Narraghmore, Timolin, Castledermot and Kinneagh, in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

The appointment of three Church of Ireland Authorised Representatives in relation to the Church of Ireland and Methodist Chaplaincy, Belfast, was also approved: the Ven George Davison (as Bishop–elect of Connor); the Archdeacon of Belfast or other Archdeacon (to be appointed); and Mr Michael Johnston (as a representative of the RCB).

Legislation in relation to charities legislation was approved for presentation to the 2020 General Synod.

The meeting closed with the Grace.

For further information please contact:

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