The Church Of Ireland
General Synod 1999
Church of Ireland
General Synod Standing Committee
Reprinted from the Church of Ireland, General Synod Book of
A Special Meeting of the Standing Committee was held on 6 October 1998 to
consider the Drumcree issue. The meeting was held in the Court Hotel, Killiney
and members of the Representative Church Body Executive Committee, the Ven AET
Harper (representing the Sectarianism Working Group) and senior staff of the RCB
were invited to attend. The Honorary Secretaries invited members to make
submissions prior to the meeting to facilitate the arranging of the agenda.
The Archbishop of Armagh introduced the subject and outlined the difficulties
facing the Church of Ireland, followed by a factual explanation by the Very Rev
H Cassidy. Mr RH Sherwood, Chief Officer and Secretary of the RCB, explained the
situation regarding the ownership of the property in the vicinity of Drumcree
Church. A report from the Ven AET Harper, as Chairman of the Sectarianism
Working Group, was also considered. The following resolution was adopted:
The Standing Committee notes the report prepared by Archdeacon Alan Harper,
Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Sectarianism dated 22 September 1998 and
awaits their general recommendations.
In relation to the specific issue of the confrontation and dispute at
Drumcree and the Church of Irelands association with and perceived
involvement in those events the Standing Committee deeply regrets and
repudiates all words and actions associated with the Drumcree controversy
which have caused and continue to cause hurt and offence to others
That, conscious of the fact that under current regulations it is not
possible to prevent attendance at a regular church service, the following
steps be taken to ensure (insofar as the church can ensure) that there will be
no recurrence of the outrageous and tragic events of the past three years.
1.1 That the Standing Committee endorses the open letters of the
Archbishop of Armagh and his senior clergy of 25 June 1998 and 24 August 1998.
1.2 That every effort is to be made by the Church of Ireland to give
support to those seeking a genuine and peaceful settlement of this ongoing
1.3 That in the light of previous experience the Standing Committee in
consultation with the Archbishop of Armagh and the Diocesan Council of
Armagh requests the officers of the Orange Order, centrally and locally,
to give written undertakings that if their members wish to attend service
at Drumcree Parish Church that they will comply with any lawful request or
direction given (a) by the Church authorities in relation to church
property and (b) by the civil authorities in respect of the conduct and
progress of any march, procession or protest.
1.4 That the Rector and Select Vestry of Drumcree parish continue to be
consulted and invited to support this policy.
A small group was requested to prepare a theological comment on the issues
involved which was approved by the Standing Committee and is included as Appendix E.
Representatives of the Standing Committee were appointed to meet with the
various parties involved with the Drumcree issue. Meetings have been held with
the Select Vestry, the Orange Order and the Garvaghy Road Residents. A report on
the meetings are included as Appendix F together
with statements by the Archbishop of Armagh and
Further information from:
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