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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Standing Committee News and appointments related to Cashel Ferns & Ossory

Standing Committee News

Several people from our diocese have been appointed to national roles within the Church of Ireland. The announcements took place at the recent Standing Committee meeting.

Ms Rachael Murphy (Bunclody) as Children and Families Development Officer

Archdeacon Ruth Elmes to the Central Communications Board and 

Mrs Gillian Purser was appointed as the Church of Ireland’s liaison person to PACT

See the Standing Committee report below:

The Standing Committee of the General Synod met in an online format on Tuesday, 25th January 2022.  Canon Gillian Wharton opened the meeting with a reading from Acts chapter 9, marking the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, and with prayer remembering all those who are anxious and experiencing disquiet in this time of change.

Mindful of the relaxing of Covid measures, members of Standing Committee expressed a preference to proceed with an in-person meeting of the General Synod in May 2022 with some social distancing in place.  It was reported that due to its greater capacity, the Assembly Buildings, Belfast, could facilitate such aspirations and that it is possible to reschedule our Synod booking at Croke Park to next year.  Further arrangements for General Synod 2022 will be confirmed in due course.

The sub-group on the possible use of videoconferencing for meetings provided an interim report with proposals to follow at the Standing Committee’s next meeting in March.

As required by the Constitution, the Complaints Committee submitted an account of income and expenditure for its work in 2021.  Amended terms of reference for the Safeguarding Board were approved by the Standing Committee.


The Honorary Secretaries reported that Ms Zephryn Patton and Mr Neville Armstrong would engage, on behalf of the Church and Society Commission, with a consultation on proposals to revise and replace the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act 1998 with a Bill of Rights.

The appointments of Ms Rachael Murphy as Children and Families Development Officer, Ms Gillian Taylor as Safeguarding Officer for Northern Ireland, and Ms Susan Carpenter as the new advisor to Church of Ireland schools in the Republic of Ireland, were announced.

Ms Murphy has worked in the youth and children’s sector for the past 27 years and in her new role, a three-year appointment, she will be responsible for developing resources, training and support for parishes in their engagement with families and children.  Ms Taylor has previously worked as a social worker for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and has also worked as part of multi-disciplinary teams dealing with a range of health, educational and criminal justice issues.  Ms Carpenter is on secondment to the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA) from her post as principal of St Columba’s National School, Carlow, and will serve Church of Ireland schools through a service level agreement between the RCB and the CPSMA.

The following persons were appointed to the Central Communications Board for the next three years: Bishop Pat Storey (as Chair); Archdeacon Ruth Elmes; Canon Gillian Wharton; Archdeacon Stephen McBride; Dean Alistair Grimason; Dr Kenneth Milne; Dr Raymond Refaussé; Mr David Ritchie; Mrs Janet Maxwell; the Revd Alan Rufli; the Revd Anna Williams; and Mr Roger Childs.

Mrs Gillian Purser was appointed as the Church of Ireland’s liaison person to PACT, and Dean Niall Sloane was appointed to the Irish Inter-Church Committee, with both appointments also for the next three years.

Dean Stephen Forde was nominated to attend the World Council of Churches’ online European Regional Pre-Assembly from 25th to 26th February 2022.

Archbishop Michael Jackson, Bishop Michael Burrows, Canon Katharine Poulton and Dean Niall Sloane were appointed to attend the next meeting of the 4 Nations Group, representing Anglican Churches in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, which will take place in Wales in May 2022.

Members of Standing Committee were asked for nominations to the Secondary Education Committee (SEC), to fill a casual vacancy in its membership nominated by the Church of Ireland.  The closing date for nominations is Monday, 28th February 2022.  Those nominated to the SEC will be asked to outline the skills and expertise they will bring to its work.  In making its nominations, the SEC has asked Standing Committee to ensure that those nominated hold the required knowledge and expertise to fulfil the roles and duties of a company director, and that such nominees do not hold any conflicts of interest or conflicts of loyalty that would prevent them carrying out their duties.

The meeting concluded with the Grace.