Standing Committee & RB
Standing Committee & RB News
The Representative Body and the Standing Committee of the General Synod both met in online formats on Tuesday, 15th September 2020.
The meeting of the Representative Body was opened in prayer by the Archbishop of Armagh, who also welcomed the Bishop of Connor to his first meeting of the RB in his new role, Mr Ken Gibson as an Honorary Secretary of General Synod and observer to the meeting, and Ms Rita Day, who had been elected as the lay representative for the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. The Archbishop of Armagh was elected as a member of the Allocations Committee, on the nomination of Mr Graham Richards, as Chairman of the Allocations Committee.
Mr Henry Saville reported that the Executive Committee had approved the allocation of €60,000 towards a grant for equipment for dioceses to facilitate the broadcasting and streaming of church services. This had been matched by €60,000 provided by the Priorities Fund, to enable grants totalling €10,000 to each diocese. A grant was also provided from the Church Fabric and Development Fund, in support of ‘The Irish Blessing’ music video initiative.
Mr Saville, as part of the Executive Committee’s report, advised the meeting of a proposed loan scheme for cathedrals and collegiate churches, with the scope for up to €2 million to be drawn down for that purpose. The RB adopted and gave retrospective consent to the Executive’s report.
Mr Ritchie outlined the transition strategy for working arrangements for RCB staff, with capacity for remote meetings alongside a return to office–based working, as appropriate. Mr Saville acknowledged the efforts of all RCB staff in these strange and testing times.
The Representative Body approved a resolution that Minimum Approved Stipends shall be £30,195 per annum in Northern Ireland or €38,234 per annum in the Republic of Ireland with effect from 1st January 2021, being unchanged from 2020; this applies in the case of an incumbent, a bishop’s curate, or a diocesan curate over the age of 30 years. The Stipends Committee will take account of the rate of inflation over the course of the previous two years as part of its next consideration of Minimum Approved Stipends.
The Representative Body recommended to the Standing Committee the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as auditor for its accounts for the year ending 31st December 2020, following a tendering process arranged by the Audit Committee.
Mrs Janet Maxwell provided an update on charities regulation and informed members that the registration of remaining parishes in Republic of Ireland will commence this autumn; the process will be facilitated by diocesan secretaries with support from Church of Ireland House, Dublin.
The meeting of the Standing Committee was opened with a reading from Nehemiah chapter 9 and in prayer by Ms Hazel Corrigan.
The Archbishop of Armagh welcomed the Bishop of Connor to his first meeting of the Committee in his new role. Ms Rebecca Morrow was welcomed to her first meeting as a lay representative for the Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry
The Revd Malcolm Kingston was elected as the clerical Honorary Secretary for the Province of Armagh. Mr Kingston was ordained in 2004 and is currently Rector of St Mark’s, Armagh; he served as a clerical representative on Standing Committee for the Diocese of Armagh prior to his election.
Mr Glenn Moore was elected as the Church of Ireland’s lay representative on the Anglican Consultative Council. The Revd Claire Kakuru was appointed as a Church of Ireland member of the Covenant Council.
The Standing Committee approved the recommendations of the Representative Body in relation to Minimum Approved Stipends, Pensionable Stipends, and the appointment of the auditor.
The Standing Committee approved the composition of the new Church of Ireland Board for Children’s and Family Ministry, for an initial three–year period, to report annually to the Standing Committee. Members were invited to submit nominations for the role of the Standing Committee representative on the Board to the Honorary Secretaries by 1st November 2020.
The Standing Committee approved the recommendations of the Budget Sub–Committee for 2021, which represent a 3.4% increase in proposed allocations from 2020. A grant of £1,000 from the General Synod Royalties Fund was approved to support the publication by the Ulster Historical Foundation of a transcript of the experiences of Very Revd Henry Jones, then Dean of Kilmore, regarding his experiences in Cavan during the 1641 Rising.
The Standing Committee approved the appointment of Williamson Consulting to carry out an exploration of the relationship between parishes and Bishops’ Appeal and an investigation of the relationship’s possible future development. The Justice Strategy of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee and the Council for Mission, to be presented at the meeting of the General Synod in 2021, was also noted.
The Advisory Council to the Church of Ireland Centre at Dublin City University reported that it was ascertaining the expertise desired on the Council, with regard to the appointment of an external academic expert from the Republic of Ireland.
The meeting concluded with the Grace.
The Honorary Secretaries have noted that the Zoom facility for the holding of the meeting and its business worked well, including for the holding of elections by secret ballot in the course of the meeting.
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