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Annual Church of Ireland Conference to Take Place in Wexford for the First Time in Its History

For the first time in its history the Church of Ireland’s General Synod (annual conference) will take place in Co Wexford as it comes to Clayton Whites Hotel from Friday, May 12 to Saturday, May 13. This will be the third meeting of the 52nd General Synod, it first met in 1871 in Dublin following the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland (COI), and in recent years General Synod has met in several different towns and cities around the island of Ireland.

The primary purpose of the Synod is to enact legislation for the whole COI. Bills, which are proposals for legislation, are considered and become Acts or Statutes if approved. Less formal proposals are submitted as motions which, if approved, become resolutions. The Synod also receives reports from various committees and boards, which are debated by the members.

The event will begin on the Friday at 11 a.m. with a speech by Archbishop John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

Thereafter, from 1-2 p.m., the Mothers’ Union will host Changing the Story, an event which will focus on changing the story of gender-based violence and domestic abuse and working towards its ending. June Butler (All Ireland President) and Jacqui Armstrong (Mothers’ Union Advocate on Gender-Based Violence) will be joined by Bishop Andrew Forster and Lydia Monds (from the Church’s Ministry of Healing). Admission is free and all donations will towards lunch expenses and the work of Mothers’ Union in highlighting domestic abuse and gender-based violence. If you wish to attend, please email muchangingthestory@gmail.com

At 3 p.m. the Board of Education report will be discussed with a particular focus on the significant financial difficulties facing schools, and the new legislation regarding special education needs and inclusion, and marks the 50th anniversary of comprehensive schools.

On the Saturday morning at 11 a.m. a motion on the impact of the Troubles will be put forward. It reads: “The General Synod of the Church of Ireland requests the Church and Society Commission to explore, and if necessary recommend and/or draft resources which will enable Parishes to engage pastorally with, and care for, individuals and communities that are still deeply affected by trauma from ‘the Troubles’ and report back to General Synod their findings no later than General Synod 2024.”

At 12.15 p.m. young people from the Lighten Our Darkness group, from Mullingar Union of Parishes, will make a special dramatic presentation to encourage greater care for creation. The presentation will be introduced by Bishop Pat Storey. The last event will see a motion on racism brought to the Synod at 4 p.m. in the hotel’s main hall.

“That the General Synod acknowledges the impact of anti-refugee and migrant hatred in our communities and requests the Honorary Secretaries to write to Diocesan Councils on behalf of the Primate’s Ethnic Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Justice Reference Group seeking suggestions regarding ways in which the Church can counter the language of anti-refugee and migrant hatred at the local level and communicate a strong message of Christian welcome to all.”

Source : Independent