Bishop to Address Diocesan Synod Members Virtually

Bishop Andrew has expressed his disappointment that the 2020 Diocesan Synod has been unable to proceed as scheduled, this year, because of the pandemic but assured members that his first Presidential Address would be made available online in the near future.

Today – Wednesday 25th November – was earmarked for the annual gathering of clergy and parishioners after the original and traditional October date fell by the wayside. Now, even the revised date has fallen victim to COVID, meaning that this year’s Synod business will, for the most part, be completed online.

“I’m saddened that we can’t meet in person, this year,” Bishop Andrew said today. “This was to have been my first Diocesan Synod as Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, and I had been looking forward so much to meeting people face-to-face and leading the Service of Holy Communion – I’d even been looking forward to delivering my first Presidential Address.

“Unfortunately, that won’t now be happening in the way we had hoped, but – despite the pandemic – the life of the Church continues, God’s work goes on, and the wheels of bureaucracy must keep on rolling.

“Synod business is being completed electronically. The Books of Reports will be sent out before Christmas; our triennial elections will be taking place electronically, on an online election platform; and I will be sharing my Presidential Address online, in the very near future.

“Sadly, this disruption to Synod is one of the prices we must pay for defeating the Coronavirus,” Bishop Andrew said. “While it’s not ideal, it’s a small sacrifice compared to that made by so many people – those who’ve buried loved ones in harrowing circumstances; those who’ve had to keep away from family (especially older, more vulnerable relatives); those who’ve been working at the frontline in our hospitals and care homes; our emergency services; our key-workers; and people in retail.

“God willing, we’ll be back to normal next year when I hope we’ll be able to look back on 2020 as something of an aberration.

“In the meantime, observe social distancing but stay close to God; keep safe; listen to the doctors and scientists; observe the guidelines; let’s do our bit to beat the virus.”