Added on 30/11/2011The Standing Committee of the General Synod met on Tuesday 22 November 2011. The meeting was opened with a scripture reading and prayers. The Archbishop of Armagh welcomed the Rt Revd John McDowell to the meeting in his new role as Bishop of Clogher; he also drew attention to the new Church of Ireland Directory 2012 which is now available.
Honorary Secretaries’ Report
The Honorary Secretaries’ report included the announcement of two new appointments: the Revd Brian Harper has been elected as clerical representative to Standing Committee from Armagh Diocese (the vacancy having arisen when the Rt Revd Patrick Rooke became Bishop of Tuam); and, as put forward by the Bishops’ Appeal World Development Committee, Mrs Sandra Dukelow, a Lay Reader from Cork Diocese, is to represent the Church of Ireland on the Board of Christian Aid.
New Honorary Secretary
The Revd George Davison, Rector of Carrickfergus, was elected as Clerical Honorary Secretary of General Synod (until the day previous to the next meeting of the General Synod in May 2012). The Archbishop of Armagh and members of Standing Committee wished him well in his new role.
Good wishes to new President of Ireland
Standing Committee requested that the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin convey its congratulations and prayerful good wishes to President Michael D. Higgins on his inauguration as President of Ireland.
Standing Committee also requested that the Archbishops convey to former President Mary McAleese the Church’s sincere thanks and appreciation for her friendship and service during her fourteen years as President. Appreciation for Senator Martin McAleese’s strong personal contribution to dialogue in Northern Ireland was also noted.
Human Sexuality – Spring 2012 Conference
There was discussion relating to recent debate and events in the Church on serving clergy and civil partnerships, and the Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of October. The Archbishop of Armagh gave a preliminary outline for the proposed special conference to be held in Spring 2012 (dates and venue to be confirmed and separately announced) which will be open to members of the General Synod (those elected for the new triennium), although it will not be a meeting of the General Synod.
It was resolved that Standing Committee welcomes the decision by the Archbishops and Bishops to hold a special conference on the issue of Human Sexuality and authorized the Honorary Secretaries to invite members of the General Synod to it when requested by the Bishops. Standing Committee further requested that the Bishops report on the proceedings of the conference to General Synod in 2012.
Mr Wilfred Baker presented the Report of the Standing Committee Budget Sub-Committee, which was drawn up in the light of continuing pressures on finances, and therefore included substantial trimming of requests in line with the likely availability of funds into the future. Following detailed discussion and consideration, the Report was noted and the recommendations as amended were adopted and will be forwarded to the Representative Church Body Allocations Committee.
General Synod Royalties Fund
The Standing Committee approved that a grant of €3,500 and £2,250 be made from the Royalties Fund to the Internet Committee to cover the hosting and support of the Church of Ireland website for 2012; that a grant of €2,000 be made to the Liturgical Advisory Committee towards the ongoing development of electronic liturgy for 2012; and that a grant of €2000 be provided for the Liturgical Advisory Committee to enable its ongoing work for 2012.
EU Single Farm Payment Scheme
It was noted that in 2013 the EU Single Farm Payment Scheme is due to end and that this might have a serious impact upon farms and rural communities if it is not replaced by a comparable scheme. It was agreed that Standing Committee appoint a small working group to examine the potential implications of the end of the scheme.
Church of Ireland Press Ltd
The Revd Gillian Wharton was approved as a member of the Association of Church of Ireland Press Limited.
CITI Governing Council
Standing Committee nominated the Revd Adrian Wilkinson and Mr Roy Totten for appointment by the Archbishops and Bishops to serve on the Governing Council of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute from 1 January 2012.
Central Communications Board
The following were appointed members of the Central Communications Board to serve until September 2012: the Rt Revd Trevor Williams; the Revd Eileen Cremin; Ms Ruth Buchanan; Dr Valerie Jones; Mrs Jane Leighton; Dr Kenneth Milne; Dr Raymond Refausse; the Ven Robin Bantry White; Mr Denis Reardon and Mrs Janet Maxwell. It was also agreed that the membership of the Broadcasting Committee and the Literature Committee remain in place until September 2012.
Commission on Ministry
Mr Peter Hamill was appointed to the Commission on Ministry.
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