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Showing posts from May, 2015

Reflections on General Synod

Church of Ireland Gazette - 29th May 2015.

I WAS very encouraged by my first Church of Ireland General Synod and will explain why, as I share some first impressions.

When I walked through the entrance to the Armagh City Hotel conference centre, the first thing that struck me was the variety of clerical dress and hairstyles. Had I arrived at a Father Ted convention by mistake?

I batted that image from my mind and took in the variety of exhibition displays and saw a few familiar clerical faces. The place was buzzing. I found a seat in the main hall and soaked up the atmosphere.

First up was the Presidential Address by the Most Revd Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. I had not seen the Archbishop in the flesh before and he is a real gentleman.

The address started well, emphasising the importance of Church communities having good inter-relationships – very timely.

Then he threw in some statistics, the most interesting being that only 15% of those who wrote ‘C…

Speech to Church of Ireland General Synod 2015

This speech was given at the Church of Ireland Synod debate on the Report of the Representative Body.

I would like to draw your attention to the revised policy statement on Socially Responsible Investment on page 89 which was approved by the RB in March 2015 and published in General Synod 2015 Book of Reports.  I welcome the focus on Environmental, Social and Governance issues.  But I believe it does not go far enough.

At the bottom of p89 the policy states, 
"The RCB actively seeks to avoid investment in business which would be inconsistence with the ethos and mission of a Christian organisation."The question is, is it ethical to invest in fossil fuels?  

In each of the last three years, of the ten largest equity holdings in the RB General investments fund, five of them where in fossil fuel companies. Should the Church of Ireland continue to invest in energy companies that contribute to the growing threat of climate change?  

This is not just a political issue, it is also a theo…