Hazel Corrigan from Tullow Group of Parishes was elected to the role of Lay Honorary Secretary of the General Synod (Southern province) on 24th January last.
She will succeed Mr Sam Harper who served in this role for 22 years.
But what does the role involve? We asked Hazel to tell us more about it – what she’ll be doing, what skills she will bring to the role and what she hopes to get from such involvement.
“The Standing Committee , which meets six times a year, carries out the functions that the General Synod has delegated to it between its sessions,” Hazel says.
“It has four Honorary Secretaries, two clerical and two lay, and the work that it does is very varied. The agenda may include:
- consideration of state legislation affecting the Church
- financial matters, appointment of delegates to conferences,
- appointments to sub-committees,
- receiving reports from sub-committees on social and other issues,
- Anglican Communion matters
- and inter-church business.”
Hazel previously served on the Standing Committee for 3 years and in 2015 was elected to the Representative Body.
“I currently sit on the Stipends Committee and the Commission on Ministry. All of these committees have given me an insight and a much wider knowledge into the workings of the Church.”
Very involved in the Diocese
Also working full-time in the agri-food sector, she has huge experience at Diocesan level and is currently secretary of the Select Vestry (Tullow Union of Parishes), a member of the Diocesan Finance Committee, Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod.
She has also been Central Secretary and Treasurer with the GFS (Girls Friendly Society) and has held the position of GFS Diocesan President and World Secretary.
An open mind and organisational skills
But what skills will she bring to the role of Lay Secretary of the General Synod’s Standing Committee?
“The role is mainly an administrative one and both in my work with GFS and the Church one needs to have good leadership, organisational, communication and teamwork skills.
You need to have an open mind, to be able to take on board everyone’s point of view and adapt to new experiences and ideas.
The constitution of the Church of Ireland is extremely long though and trying to get a grip of that will definitely be a challenge but I’m really excited to learn more and see how I’ll be able to contribute to the general running of the Church.”