Clogher Synod 2006 meets in Monaghan

The Church’s Care for Children, the good, the bad and the ugly of church buildings and an overseas link with Chile will be some of the topics presented at this year’s Clogher Diocesan Synod. The annual meeting of elected representatives and clergy from the thirty-two parish groupings in the Church of Ireland Diocese will be held in Monaghan on Friday 29th September.

Following a service of Holy Communion in St Patrick’s Church at 10 a.m., members will convene for business in the nearby Church Hall, under the chairmanship of Bishop Michael Jackson. The main feature before lunch will be the wide-ranging Presidential Address by Dr Jackson, whose overall theme will be Church and Community: Challenge and Continuity. He will explore aspects of church engagement within our society and encourage Synod members to be critical participants in their communities as an expression of Christian witness and discipleship.

Two issues which are pertinent to today’s church will receive special consideration at the Synod – the care of children and young people, and the use and maintenance of church buildings. ‘Safeguarding Trust’, the Church of Ireland code of good practice in working with children and young people, has been deployed for a decade or so, and the synod will hear of new initiatives to ensure its continued and full use within the church. The Diocesan Glebes Committee, which looks after church buildings, should provide debate and comment with its report “Church Property – the good, the bad and the ugly”.

This year, the Diocese of Clogher celebrates 1500 years of its continued Christian witness since the time of its founder Macartan, and Synod members will hear of further celebratory projects and initiatives under the banner ‘Macartan 1500’. One part of the celebration year already past was the sending of a team of young people from the diocese to Chile in July. The team will report to the Synod on their activities there, working with churches and sharing their faith. The Synod will also be the venue for the launch of a new publication ‘Clogher Clergy and Parishes’, a comprehensive historical record of every parish and church building in the diocese, and of every cleric who has served in them. This book is a significant record of the life of the diocese, and appropriate for its 1500th anniversary; the last such publication took place in the 1920s.

In addition to the debates and special presentations, proceedings of the synod will also deal with matters of diocesan housekeeping, with the election of Honorary Secretaries, reports of diocesan committees, greeting from visitors from other denominations and a review of election procedures within the diocese.