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September 2012 Standing Committee News

Standing Committee

Added on 25/09/2012

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The meeting was opened with a scripture reading and prayers.

Mr Adrian Clements was welcomed to the meeting in his new capacity as Chief Officer and Secretary General, and it was noted that a letter had been received from Mr Denis Reardon thanking everyone for their friendship and support during his tenure as Chief Officer which he had greatly enjoyed.

This was the last meeting of the Standing Committee chaired by Archbishop Alan Harper before his retirement at the end of this month. The Archbishop of Dublin spoke on behalf of the members of Standing Committee in expressing sincere thanks and best wishes to the Archbishop, noting his consistent fair mindedness, his ability to facilitate the articulation of views and his gift of administration, and conveying that he would be greatly missed. On behalf of the Honorary Secretaries, Mr Sam Harper also thanked Archbishop Harper for the gracious and helpful way in which he had fulfilled his role as leader, showing love for the Church and an understanding of people. Mr Sam Harper said that it had been a pleasure to work with the Archbishop and wished him and Mrs Harper well. The Archbishop of Armagh expressed his thanks to everyone for their kindness and his view that the Church of Ireland, under God, represented all that was best in the presentation of the Christian faith in Ireland, showing integrity and goodwill in furthering the mission of God in and through Jesus Christ. It was the Church of Ireland which had nurtured him in faith and he said it had been overwhelmingly a privilege to have been involved in its ministry.

Royalties Fund Allocations
Standing Committee approved an allocation of €1,600 to the Liturgical Advisory Committee for the work of the Hymnal Sub–Committee and the Psalter and PRISM projects. It also approved the following allocations from the Royalties Fund: two € 1,000 sums for work on a forthcoming Parish Handbook; a €1,000 subvention to a forthcoming publication on Bishop Jebb and the 19th Century Anglican Renaissance to be published by Clements Academic Publishing; a €1,000 subvention to Ulster Historical Foundation’s Clergy of Ossory; a €1,000 subvention to the Ulster Historical Foundation’s Clergy of Cashel and Emly and Clergy of Leighlin; and £6,000 towards the second print–run of Family Time – Simple Prayers, Life Lessons and Devotions for Learning with Children which will be distributed via the dioceses across the whole island.

Minimum Approved Stipends
Mr Robert Neill, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Representative Church Body, was invited to address the meeting. Following discussion, it was resolved by Standing Committee to follow the RB Executive Committee’s and Representative Church Body’s recommendation that Minimum Approved Stipends shall be as follows with effect from 1 January 2013: (a) no stipend shall be less than £26,008 per annum in Northern Ireland or €36,219 per annum in the Republic of Ireland in the case of an Incumbent or a member of the clergy appointed as Bishop’s Curate or of a Diocesan Curate over the age of 30 years. (b) the stipend for a Curate–Assistant shall be in accordance with the following scale: First Year 75.0% of minimum stipend for incumbent; Second Year 77.5% ; Third Year 80.0% ; Fourth Year 82.5%; Fifth and succeeding Years 85.0% .

Pensionable Stipend
It was also resolved that as recommended by the Representative Church Body and the Trustee, Pensionable Stipend shall be as follows with effect from 1 January 2013: (a) Pensionable Stipend shall be £25,498 per annum in Northern Ireland and €36,219 per annum in the Republic of Ireland in the case of an Incumbent or a member of the clergy appointed as Bishop’s Curate or of a Diocesan Curate over the age of 30 years. (b) Pensionable Stipend for a Curate–Assistant shall be in accordance with the following scale: First Year 75.0% of Pensionable Stipend for incumbent; Second Year 77.5%; Third Year 80.0%; Fourth Year 82.5%; Fifth and succeeding years 85.0%.

Hard Gospel Working Group: Enhancing Representation
The Hard Gospel Working Group had raised with the Standing Committee the matter of enhancing methods of representation at General Synod. Following discussion on this and related matters, such as working towards increased openness and transparency and avoiding perceived and real conflicts of interests across Church structures, it was felt that there could be greater consideration given to enabling people to know more about those being proposed for nomination through the use of pen portraits in advance of elections.

Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief
Following discussion regarding progressing work on the issue of bringing a proposal to General Synod 2013 on the formation of a Select Committee with terms of reference and reporting procedures on the issue of human sexuality in the context of Christian belief, the Honorary Secretaries agreed to take into account the views aired at the meeting and report to the November meeting with more detailed proposals.

Pastoral Reconciliation and Mediation Sub Committee
It was resolved that (pursuant to the resolution adopted by the General Synod in 2012) the Standing Committee appoints the following to the Pastoral Reconciliation and Mediation Sub Committee: the Bishop of Meath & Kildare; the Bishop of Derry & Raphoe; Mr Sam Harper; Ms Ruth Handy; the Revd Gillian Wharton and the Revd Pat Storey. The Pastoral Reconciliation and Mediation sub–committee was requested to make an interim report to the Standing Committee on its progress at or before the March 2013 meeting.

In addition to the Revd Canon Aisling Shine who was appointed at the previous meeting of the Standing Committee to be one of the two Church of Ireland representatives to PACT, the Revd Paul Houston was appointed as the second representative.

Central Board of the Church of Ireland Youth Department
The Revd George Davison and Ms Hazel Corrigan were appointed by Standing Committee as its representatives on the Central Board of CIYD.

Central Communications Board
Standing Committee confirmed the following as members of the CCB for the 2012–2015 Triennium ending in September 2015: an Archbishop or Bishop (to be appointed by the Archbishops and Bishops); the Revd Eileen Cremin (Broadcasting Committee); Ms Ruth Buchanan (Broadcasting Committee); Dr Raymond Refaussé (Literature Committee); Dr Kenneth Milne (Literature Committee); the Venerable Robin Bantry White (Standing Committee); the Venerable Richard Rountree (Standing Committee); Mr Adrian Clements (Secretary General); Mrs Janet Maxwell (Head of Synod Services and Communications); and Mrs Jane Leighton, appointed by the Representative Church Body.

CEC Conference 2013
On the recommendation of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, it was agreed that Dr Ken Milne represent the Church of Ireland at the Conference of European Churches (CEC) to take place in Budapest in July 2013.


Church of Ireland
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