By probie


TKA Diocesan Synod was held in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tuam on 27th September.

At the Pre-Synod Service of Holy Communion, The Dean installed one Dignitory and three Canons: Revd. Maureen Ryan to the Dignity of Provost and Archdeacon Alan Synnott, Canon Val Rogers and Canon Neal O’Raw to their Prebend Stalls. Thus was completed the consolodation of the Cathedral Chapters of St. Patrick, Killala and St Mary Tuam.

Bishop Patrick Rooke adopted ‘Better Together’ as the theme for his Presidential Address.

In looking back, and as this was the beginning of a triennial period, the Bishop thanked the outgoing members of Diocesan Committees for all their hard work and welcomed ‘the new hands’ to their first meeting of Synod. Particular thanks were reserved for the outgoing editor of the diocesan magazine and a presentation was made to her. Bishop Rooke said ‘The service Ann Walton gave over many years in her capacity as Editor of Tidings was second to none.’


In the field of education, the Bishop spoke of a new departure in the Killala area:

‘Newtownwhite National School is now under new patronage and while we may regret its loss to the Church of Ireland fold, I believe this new start as an Educate Together School offers the best possibility of securing its future for the upcoming generations of children.’

Speaking, then, of TKA parochial matters, the Bishop turned to the Diocesan Council’s document, ‘The Way Ahead’ which stated ‘that we would not embark upon a policy of church closures.’ However, the Bishop went on to say ‘ wherever possible, congregations are being encouraged to work together; and this must include a willingness to travel short distances to worship with one another. ‘ Moreover Bishop Rooke commended to parishes the idea of having a joint service on each fifth Sunday in the month.

Enlarging on these thoughts, Bishop Rooke added, ‘One of the developments that I hope we can pursue together over the coming year is the possibility of a partnership with Church Army in order to begin some meaningful outreach work.’ To help us begin, CEO of Church Army, Canon Mark Russell, will lead the Clergy Conference in October.

This year’s Synod was addressed by Rev. Bantry White and Revd. Andrew Forster of the Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures. In relation to this, Bishop Rooke said, ‘We in this Diocese need, I believe, to consider what structural changes might lie ahead for us, not as something negative, but as an opportunity for growth and new life for the Church in this Diocese. ‘….. ‘parishioners need to know what’s happening and what’s intended, and why, so they can feel part of the process, rather than victims of it’. He added, ‘the challenges of smaller numbers, of financial shortages, of pressure to pay assessment, of amalgamations, of isolation are driving us back to be the Church that perhaps Christ intends us to be. A Church that is local but also aware of its wider context. It …read more

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