Added on 20/01/2003
Annual Report of the Bishops' Selection Conference 2002
The call to the ordained ministry is both a high call and a high privilege. The quality of ordained clergy is central to the life of a healthy church. The opportunities and significant developments in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland at the beginning of the 21st century, and our rapidly changing world situation, require gifted and discerning clergy who will lead the people of God with courage, vision and holiness of life. It is clear and obvious that few things are more important in the life of the Church than the selection of suitable candidates for service in the ordained ministry. The integrity of the process of selection and the discerning of God's will for enquiring individuals are an awesome responsibility of the whole church, and not least the Bishops of our Church.
Review & Thanks
It is with these and other matters in mind that in 2001 the Bishops undertook an extensive and comprehensive internal review of Selection Conferences. 2002 has been the first year of the new process. A new group, the Bishops Liaison Group on Ordination (BLGO) has been established under the Chairmanship of the Archbishop of Armagh. The Selection Conference is one element in this forum. As a Church we are deeply indebted to the thorough wide ranging and balanced work of the Bishop of Cork, Bishop Colton, in establishing the new process. He has now relinquished his responsibilities as Chairperson and we sincerely thank him for all the time thought and energy he gave to this task. We are also profoundly grateful to the former Secretary of CACTM, Rev. Dr. Billy Marshall and to all who served as Selectors, or in any other capacity over the years.
The new Chairperson of the Selection Conference is the Bishop of Kilmore, Bishop Ken Clarke. The new Secretary is the Secretary to the House of Bishops, Mrs Karen Seaman. Elsewhere in the Report you will see the names of the new team of Selectors and Chaplains.
Selection Conference 2002
In 2002 twenty people attended the Selection Conference in June. Fourteen of these were recommended for training (5 for the non-stipendiary ministry and one for admission in 2003), one was deferred and five were not recommended.
Diocesan Directors of Ordinands
In November of 2002 a meeting was held with the Diocesan Directors' of Ordinands to hear their views on the new process. This meeting was very useful and ideas shared will be borne in mind when future Selection Conferences are being planned and organised.
Also in November a new information booklet was made available. Entitled A Guide to Selection Conferences - Church of Ireland Training for the Ordained Ministry, this booklet outlines the process, how to make an application and information on the pre-selection conference and the selection conference. Diocesan Directors' of Ordinands have copies of this booklet and early in 2003, a copy was sent to each Rector in the Church of Ireland.
The new process is still in the early stages of implementation. Obviously lessons will be learned as we progress and so it will be under critical and constructive review. The selection of candidates for the ordained ministry of the Church of Ireland is worthy of our very best. Our aim is to provide the best we can and so we ask for your continual prayers for the Selection Conferences and all who are involved.
The dates for the 2003 conferences are as follows:
Pre-Selection Conference (Part I)
Tuesday 18th - Thursday 20th March
Selection Conference (Part II)
Wednesday 4th - Friday 6th June
The new panel of Selectors is as follows:
The Rev. Canon Alan Abernethy
The Rev. Wayne Carney
The Rev. Grace Clunie
Mr Stephen Connolly
Ms Heather Ellis
Rev. Canon John Martin
The Rev. Liz McElhinney
Mr Roy Palmer
Ms Sophie Shirley
The Rev. Canon Des Sinnamon
Mr. Billy Skuse
The Very Rev. Robert Townley
Ms Joyce Williams
The new panel of Chaplains is as follows:
The Rev. Canon Paul Draper
The Rev. Shane Forster
The Rev. Elizabeth Hanna
The Rev. Norman Jardine
The Rev. Jonathan Pierce
The Rev. Katherine Poulton
Bishop Ken Clarke
Tel: +353 49 4372759
The Diocesan Office
Tel: +353 1 6275352
Fax: +353 1 6275356