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Dublin & Glendalough Highlights Presented in Diocesan Councils’ Synod Report

Dublin & Glendalough Highlights Presented in Diocesan Councils’ Synod Report
Synod members take their places before business gets underway in Taney Parish Centre.

The highlights of the year in Dublin & Glendalough are presented annually in the report of Diocesan Councils to Synods. Proposing this year’s report, Mary White (Kilternan), told Synod members gathered in Taney Parish Centre yesterday evening (Tuesday October 8) that Diocesan Councils was a bit like a “clearing house” for much that is happening in the dioceses and around the parishes.

Among the issues she brought to the attention of members was the ongoing work with young people. She said she was saddened by the cancellation of the D&G Kids Camp this year but, as a new convert and occasional attendee at Messy Church, she said it provided a wonderful opportunity for adults and children of all ages to take part in activities together.

She praised Greg Fromholz (Young Adults’ Officer) and Susie Keegan (Youth Ministry Coordinator) for their enthusiasm for work with young adults and youth. She reminded parishes to avail of their ministry. She also paid tribute to Olive Good, the Diocesan Regulator for Safeguarding Trust and her new team.

Highlighting the ‘A Place to Call Home’ appeal which supports the Irish Refugee Council’s efforts to provide housing and assistance to refugees so that they can exit the Direct Provision system, Mrs White noted that the appeal was nearing its end and urged parishes to get behind the initiative to meet the €300,000 target.

The recently convened ‘Moving Forward Together’ group embraces three diocesan initiatives: Come&C, Gateway and the New Housing Action Group, she said. She also paid tribute to the staff of the Diocesan Office and those involved in communications.

Looking ahead, Mrs White flagged the forthcoming commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and General Synod 2019 which will take place in Croke Park, Dublin.

Cherishing the Voices of Lay People

Discussion on the report included a contribution from Canon Gillian Wharton (Booterstown and Carysfort with Mount Merrion) who urged lay people to ensure their voices were heard on Diocesan Synod. With triennial elections approaching next Easter Vestry, she asked lay people to put themselves forward to represent their parishes. “Last year four parishes in Dublin were under represented and one church had no lay representation at all. This is regrettable because the lay voice is one we cherish,” she commented. She said that all places were filled in light of the General Synod Representation Bill, which if it comes into effect, will see the numbers representing Dublin & Glendalough on General Synod fall from 66 to 57.

Children, Young People and Young Adults

Lynne Storey (Rathfarnham and Children’s Ministry) thanked the Revd Baden Stanley for his contribution to children’s ministry over the last three years and looked forward to working with the Revd Cathy Hallissey. She also highlighted the forthcoming Building Blocks Children’s Ministry Conference which takes place on Saturday November 9. (Look out for bookings going live shortly.)

The Revd Stephen Farrell (Zion) warmly commended the Graveyard Shift Podcast and urged people to subscribe to hear “three people talking about faith and culture and life beyond in Dublin today”. The three people are Greg Fromholz, Scott Evans and the Revd Alan Breen.

A graduate and leader of the D&G Kids Camps, Amy Deverell (Tallaght) regretted that the camps did not run this year. She urged people to get in touch with ideas and feedback about the camps to assist them in bringing them forward. She also asked clergy to advertise the camps and tell children in their parishes about them.

Alistair Doyle (Killiney–Ballybrack and Regional Messy Church coordinator) said that there were just four registered Messy Churches in Dublin and offered help to anyone thinking of starting one. “Messy Churches are maturing, they’re growing disciples, celebrating the sacrements and they help you put the invitation out in your locality,” he commented.

Archbishop Michael Jackson commended all involved in the ACT3 third level chaplaincy team.

Hospital Chaplaincy

Canon Robert Warren (Taney) who heads up the hospital chaplaincy oversight committee, said they had come along way in the last six years and praised the chaplaincy team who currently operate in St Vincent’s, Beaumont, Connolly, the Mater and Tallaght hospitals. GDPR had come to haunt them in recent years, he said and as a result they could not provide chaplaincy services in Cappagh or Temple Street Children’s hospitals at the moment. He asked people who had parishioners or relatives in those hospitals to contact the chaplains who are listed in the Diocesan Directory. He added that sometimes people slipped through the net due to hospital admission policies. “Unless you say you are Church of Ireland you will not get on the list of a Church of Ireland chaplain. If you say you are Protestant or Christian, you won’t get on the Church of Ireland list. So please tell people to identify as Church of Ireland on their admission forms,” he explained. They are looking for people to train as hospital chaplains. However, places on the CPE courses are limited.

Canon Kevin Brew (Howth) said he had received a lot of positive feedback about people’s experiences of hospital chaplaincy recently. Meanwhile, the Revd Ruth Noble (Crumlin and Chapelizod) is a chaplain in Crumlin Children’s Hospital and asked people to note that if a child is admitted through A&E they will not be asked their religion. Derek Neilson (Calary) reported that he was in hospital for just two days and was extremely impressed to get a visit from the chaplain.

Peter Rooke (Kill O the Grange) advised parishes that they were required to have a safety statement and suggested drawing up a parish hazard list. He offered his assistance free of charge and can be contacted through his parish.

The Revd Rebecca Guildea noted that there was no diocesan policy for maternity leave.