Contributions from Armagh members at Synod.
Iris Suitor spoke about East Africa which is experiencing the worst famine since 1945. She said Bishops’ Appeal was supporting two charities on the ground – Christian Aid and Tearfund. She gave stark figures for people facing starvation in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yeman. Natural disasters in Kenya and Ethiopia were also highlighted. She urged members to help these other people in the world who are suffering. She said Bishops’ Appeal envelopes were available at their stand.
Speaking to the Church and Society Commission,
Archdeacon Andrew Forster said the church needed to be greatly concerned on the political situation in Northern Ireland where he said there was complete political deadlock, no programme for government, no budget, and politicians are focusing on the next election. Political deadlocks had always been dangerous times in our province, he said. He urged people to pray for Northern Ireland. He said the word reconciliation had disappeared from discourse over the last 12 months, community relations had taken a back seat and the community seemed more divided. He said members of the church on the island had to be people who sought the common good, who sought reconciliation and sought common ground so future generations would not seek division. We need to pray for Northern Ireland at this time, he concluded.
Commenting on the establishment of a Facilitation Committee Mrs Ethne Harkness proposed an amendment to the motion which originally included the names of just three men for the membership of the committee. She criticised the dominance of men in the church. She put forward an amendment to add the Very Revd Katherine Poulton, Dean of Ossory, to the membership of the committee. The amendment was seconded by Rhonda Willoughby. Members of Synod agreed to the amendment and the overall motion passed.