Wide Range of Work Highlighted in Dublin & Glendalough Diocesan Councils’ Report
Dublin & Glendalough’s work in supporting the people of the dioceses and nurturing their faith was highlighted at Diocesan Synod on Tuesday evening in Temple Carrig School in Greystones. Proposing the report of Diocesan Councils, Derek Neilson (Calary) suggested that the first 12 pages of the report from councils appeared “almost like stepping stones in the ages of life: going from ministry to young people, to the Diocesan Youth Council, on to ministry to young adults and finishing with ministry to third level students”.
He outlined the work done through the Safeguarding Trust programme in ensuring the safety of children and praised all who teach Sunday School classes each week. He said the initiatives for teenagers and young adults were very encouraging and looked forward to them bearing fruit. The strength of the third level chaplaincy team and the huge amount of work carried out by chaplains was also noted.
Mr Neilson said that the Come&C programme, based on the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, had continued to grow in strength since it began in 2014. “When the Five Marks of Mission emerged in 1984 they were considered radical but now they are helping to energise our faith. I would encourage any clergy who haven’t yet availed of the Come&C 5 Marks Challenge pack to get it and use it within their parishes,” he commented.
He commended the dedicated team of hospital chaplains and also highlighted the number of places now available for the care for the elderly.
Mr Neilson encouraged the people of the dioceses to continue their hard work in support of the A Place to Call Home refugee accommodation project which is a partnership between Dublin & Glendalough and the Irish Refugee Council. He also thanked all the parishes who had donated to Bishops’ Appeal which is currently directing funds to agencies working to provide relief after the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.
Speaking to the report Lynn Storey (Rathfarnham and Sunday School Society) highlighted the forthcoming Building Blocks Conference which takes place on Saturday November 10 in St Andrew’s College, Booterstown. The keynote speaker is Victoria Beech from GodVenture. Learn more here.
Robert Neill (Councils) said he was impressed to see what was being achieved in the area of youth and young people and looked back to the Book of Reports in 1996 when it noted that a youth officer had been appointed for the whole of Ireland and then in 1997 when Canon Gillian Wharton was appointed part time Diocesan Youth Officer.
David Caird (Malahide) commended the wonderful work in placing Church of Ireland chaplains in hospitals and universities. However, he highlighted the difficulties they may have in finding accommodation and urged the dioceses to consider innovative ways of providing accommodation.
Edgard Hall (Killiskey) enquired how the forthcoming referendum on Blasphemy reflected on the articles of the Church.
Olive Good (Castlknock and Diocesan Safeguarding Trust Regulator) thanked all the parishes who had worked hard to get risk assessments in place for Safeguarding Trust and urged any parishes whose risk assessments were outstanding to get them in as soon as possible. She reminded clergy and panel members that they must attend seminars to ensure that they are up to date with new Safeguarding regulations.
The Revd William Bennett (Newcastle and Newtownmountkennedy with Calary) asked if clear guidelines could be drawn up for those approaching the end of their ministry as to what they should and should not engage in after retirement.
Canon Gillian Wharton (Booterstown and Mount Merrion) reminded clergy with permission to officiate to check that they were also on the register of solmnisers to enable them to officiate at marriages.
The Revd Jack Kinkead (Wicklow and Killiskey) highlighted the work of Church Music Dublin, of which he is chairman. The aims of the organisation included encouraging good relationships between clergy and their musicians, supporting one another and investigating musical possibilities, he said. He also encouraged parishes to get in touch with Church Music Dublin for advice and assistance when they have a vacancy for an organist or musician.
Mary Williams (Kill O’ The Grange) commended the work of Church Music Dublin, in particular their Living Worship sessions. But she said there were musicians in some parish churches who considered themselves outside the remit of Church Music Dublin and urged the organisation to take their needs on board.
Douglas Appleyard (Councils) announced an upcoming venture for students taking place in St Thomas’s Church on Cathal Bruagh Street. Entitled the Dublin ONE, the student gospel music services are a partnership between third level chaplaincies, Discovery Gospel Choir and various university gospel choirs. The first student service takes place on Sunday October 21 at 7.30 pm and is on the theme of Harvest Praise.
Canon Nigel Sherwood (Arklow) thanked all the parishes who had supported the Country Air Association. Application forms would go out to Rectors around Easter and he urged them all to look in their parishes to see if there are people who might not get a holiday and would benefit from the support of the Country Air Association.
Canon Robert Warren (Taney) suggested that there was too much work in the dioceses for one diocesan architect and wondered if assistance could be provided.
Geoffrey McMaster (Celbridge and Straffan with Newcastle–Lyons) alerted members of Synod to the new Bishops’ Appeal calendar which is now on sale. The calendar costs €10 and €8.50 of this goes directly to the projects supported by Bishops’ Appeal.