Primate chairs his last Standing Committee meeting

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in Church of Ireland House, Dublin, on Tuesday, 19th November 2019. Canon Gillian Wharton opened in prayer and with a reading from Matthew chapter 17.

The Honorary Secretaries reported that a new staff and volunteer guide, which replaces the old workers’ guide, is now available in relation to child and adult safeguarding. The following versions are available at the links below:

Child Safeguarding (RI)

Child Safeguarding (NI)

Adult Safeguarding (RI)

Adult Safeguarding (NI)

The Standing Committee was informed that the diocesan synods of Limerick and Killaloe, of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, and of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh had passed a resolution providing for the following changes under a statute approved by General Synod in May 2019:

– the transfer of a portion of the Diocese of Achonry within the United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry to the Diocese of Elphin within the United Dioceses of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh;

– an alteration of the territorial boundaries of the Provinces of Armagh and Dublin by transferring the United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry from the Province of Armagh to the Province of Dublin; and

– the uniting under one bishop of the two United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and Limerick, Ardfert, Aghadoe, Killaloe, Kilfenora, Clonfert, Kilmacduagh and Emly.

The above changes will come into effect on the occurrence of an episcopal vacancy for either Tuam, Killala and Achonry, or Limerick and Killaloe.

The Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Tuam outlined a discussion paper on marriage in church buildings and other locations, which has been considered by the House of Bishops. It was agreed that the paper should be referred to the Marriage Council for further consideration.

Dean William Morton was appointed to the Board of the Association of Church of Ireland Press Ltd. Ms Hazel Corrigan, Mr Roy Lawther, Ms Ashley Brown and Mr Billy Skuse were appointed to the Charities Registration Monitoring Working Group (with Ms Corrigan as an alternate member with Mr Ken Gibson). Canon Elaine Murray was appointed to the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue. The Revd Aaron McAlister was appointed to the Consultative Group on Disability.  Mrs Gillian Purser was appointed to the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee.

The Standing Committee approved a call for expressions of interest for the position of a Church of Ireland director on the Board of Trustees of Christian Aid. This is available at www.ireland.anglican.org/vacancies

Archbishop Richard Clarke informed the committee that he would not be attending its January meeting and this would therefore be his last attendance at Standing Committee, ahead of his retirement in February. The Archbishop, who has been a member of Standing Committee since 1988, thanked members for their commitment and noted that he had enjoyed chairing the meetings over the last seven years. Archbishop Michael Jackson paid tribute to Archbishop Clarke on behalf of the committee.

Archbishop Clarke closed the meeting with a blessing.