The Diocese of Clogher's annual Synod took place on Thursday 29th September in St Patrick's Parish Church, Monaghan. The Synod commenced with a Service of Holy Communion celebrated by the Bishop, the Rt Revd John McDowell, which marked the Feast of St Michael and the Angels. The Old Testament reading from Genesis 28 was read by the Revd Philip Bryson, Magheraculmoney Parish Curate Assistant, Psalm 103 was read by the Revd Colin Milligan of the Methodist Church, the Epistle from Revelation 12 was read by Monsignor Joseph McGuinness of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Gospel from St John 1 was read by the Revd Chris MacBruithin, Enniskillen Cathedral Curate Assistant. Intercessions were led by the then Archdeacon of Clogher, the Ven Helene Steed, and the bishop was assisted in the administration of Communion by the Revd Canon Ian Berry, Rector of Monaghan, and the Revd Stephen McNie of the Presbyterian Church.
After calling the Synod to order, Bishop McDowell appointed the Hon Sir Benjamin Stephens as Assessor. The meeting opened with a Scripture reading from Acts 15 read by the Revd Andrew Quill, Rector of Dromore, and prayers led by the Revd John Woods, Rector of Donacavey and Barr.
Observers from the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches each brought greetings to Synod.
Following the Bishop's address, a range of matters were presented by Mr Glenn Moore, Diocesan Secretary, and a number of elections took place. Mrs Julie Parker was elected to serve as a lay representative on the Representative Church Body, replacing Mr William Allen who retired from the position after many years service. The Revd Andrew Quill was elected to serve as a clerical member of the General Synod Board of Education (NI). The Revd Neal Phair was elected to serve as a clerical member of the Episcopal Electoral College, and the Revds Andrew Quill, Philip Bryson and Chris MacBruithin were elected as supplemental members.
The 145th report of Diocesan Council was proposed by Mr Robert Forde, seconded by the Revd Canon Dr Ian Ellis. The prizes awarded by the Clogher Diocesan Board of Religious Education were presented by the Bishop and introduced by Miss Frances Boyd.
Reports were received from various diocesan committees. The Youth Council report was presented by Dr Lynsey McMurray and the Revd Margaret Pringle. The Board of Religious Education report was proposed by Miss Frances Boyd, seconded by the Revd Canon David Skuce. The Board of Mission report was proposed by the Very Revd Kenny Hall, seconded by Miss Joyce Clingan. The Revd Canon Noel Regan, now retired, returned to synod to talk about the work of Bishops' Appeal. The Board of Social Theology in Action was proposed by Capt David Hamilton, seconded by the then Revd Canon Brian Harper. Th Ministry of Healing report was presented by the Revd Canon Maurice Armstrong, and the Glebes Committee report was proposed by Mr Henry Robinson, seconded by the Revd Alan Irwin.
Archdeacon Emeritus Cecil Pringle was commended on attaining 50 years of ministry and the Bishop warmly thanked Archdeacon Steed as she prepared for her institution in St Mark's, Dundela. The Diocese's lay honorary secretaries, Mr John Irvine and Mrs Rosemary Barton, were also congratulated for their award of an MBE for services in the charity sector and election as MLA respectively.
Synod concluded with the Ven Helene Steed expressing appreciation to the bishop for his chairmanship of proceedings.
Bishop John McDowell at Clogher Diocesan Synod