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General Synod 2012
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Podcasts taken during Synod 2013

Soulwaves RadioInterviews with Synod contributors taken by Mr Paul Loughlin of SoulWaves Radio during General Synod 2013 will be available to hear here.

 

The issue of clergy pensions is of great interest to many of the clergy present at the Synod and beyond. The Reverend Gary Dowd is Rector of Glenageary, one of the most affluent parishes in the Republic. He looks at what the future holds for him and his family and considers whether the pension issue will be a disencentive for younger people thinking of joining the clergy.
Click here to listen to Revd Gary Dowd, Rector, St. Paul’s, Glenageary.

In his Presidential address to Synod Most Reverend Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, contributed to the abortion debate in the Republic saying “Christian disciples should be ready to confront those who, whether in political life or not, would treat human life not as a gift but as a commodity.” He elaborated on this and other issues in a joint news conference with the Most Reverend Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin.
Click here to listen.

Speaker after speaker on the opening day of Synod 2013 articulated the plight of people in the farming communities particularly South of the border. There were harrowing tales of isolation and even suicide as farmers endured the rigours of an especially severe winter. Synods people were asked to imagine the heartbreak of a farmer listening to his animals crying for food. In such circumstances it can be hard to spare more than a thought for sufferers overseas. Indeed the receipts of Bishops’ Appeal have declined by some 20% according to Canon William Kingston of Ardagh. Lydia Monds, Education Officer of Bishops’ Appeal, spoke of the people the Appeal helps and what the prospects may be when no help is forthcoming.
Click here to listen.

The Church of Ireland’s missionary group Crosslinks celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. Crosslinks exists to serve individuals and churches to play their part in God’s mission. To mark the anniversary Crosslinks is holding a conference with evangelical scholar Professor Don Carson at St. Anne’s Cathedral Belfast on 31st January and 1st February 2014. Crosslinks Ireland Team Leader is the Revd. Trevor Johnston.
Click here to listen.

As the Synod progresses the news came that the Northern Ireland First Minister and Deputy First Minister had published plans to tackle sectarianism and division. As part of this they want the peace walls to come down within ten years. The hope is that the 60 barriers between Catholic and Protestant neighbours will be no longer necessary. The news came just after the Bishop of Down and Dromore had addressed the Synod on the lack of a vision of a shared future among the politicians at Stormont. The Right Reverend Harold Miller along with the Methodist President and Presbyterian Moderator formed a group to listen to those involved in the flag protest earlier and spoke to the Synod on the depth of feeling abroad in Protestant communities.
Click here to listen.

As the Synod progresses the news came that the Northern Ireland First Minister and Deputy First Minister had published plans to tackle sectarianism and division. As part of this they want the peace walls to come down within ten years. The hope is that the 60 barriers between Catholic and Protestant neighbours will be no longer necessary. The news came just after the Bishop of Down and Dromore had addressed the Synod on the lack of a vision of a shared future among the politicians at Stormont. The Right Reverend Harold Miller along with the Methodist President and Presbyterian Moderator had formed a group to listen to those involved in the flag protest earlier in the year and spoke to the Synod on the depth of feeling abroad in Protestant communities.
Click here to listen.

The Very Reverend Tom Gordon, Dean of Leighlin, made a vigorous personal contribution to the Synod debate on the sexuality issue. Referring to himself as “the only gay in the village” Dean Gordon, a psychotherapist, reminded the Synod of the sense of exclusion and isolation of so many gay men resulting in a disproportionately high rate of suicide. The Synod passed a motion to establish a Select Committee on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. The Committee may co–opt two other members but even if these are lesbian, bisexual, gay or trans–gender it will still, in Dean Gordon’s view, be a committee talking about certain people … not with them.
Click here to listen.

The Archbishop of Dublin proposed the motion to establish the Seelect Committee on Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. The Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry spoke to it. Bishop Rooke said the Church must provide a welcome to all and that it must continue its duty to listen and engage in dialogue. It cannot be other than open, he said. The Committee will be large, representing all shades of opinion. Because it is a select committee it is limited to appointing only those who are Synod members. But it may also co–opt two others.
Click here to listen.