General Synod opens at Millennium Forum


Archbishop Richard Clarke.

Representatives from Clogher Diocese were among around 600 from across Ireland attending the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in the Millennium Forum, Derry which opened earlier on Thursday, 16th May.

The General Synod opened with the Presidential address given by the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland following a service of Holy Communion in St. Columb’s Cathedral.

Archbishop Clarke commended the people of the city for demonstrating “that there is a wholesome way forward following decades of division and violence” and expressed the hope that this will continue. He also turned to how the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland will be marked. On the theme of history, he warned that populism is “imperilling the very roots of democracy” and referred to the 1930s when 'self-appointed' messiahs sprang up … but at the price of being given absolute and unaccountable power over the lives of their people.”

The Archbishop also referred to the ongoing fourth industrial revolution which raises questions around the value of human beings as more automation takes place in society and the economy.

He affirmed: “God does not evaluate us in terms of our usefulness. Through grace, we each have an infinite and unique value in the eyes of God, and the call of God in Christ to us is to convey that truth to those who do not see this, or who have never had the opportunity to see it.”