COI Gazette – 6th May 2016

Church Army opens its first Centre of Mission in the Republic of Ireland, in Ballina

From left: Church Army National Operations Manager Neville Willerton; Church Army Chief Executive Mark Russell; Lead Evangelist for the Tuam Centre of Mission Emma Bolster Rodrigues; the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, the Rt Revd Patrick Rooke; and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Killala, the Most Revd John Fleming.

From left: Church Army National Operations Manager Neville Willerton; Church Army Chief Executive Mark Russell; Lead Evangelist for the Tuam Centre of Mission Emma Bolster Rodrigues; the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, the Rt Revd Patrick Rooke; and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Killala, the Most Revd John Fleming.

Church Army has launched its firrst-ever Centre of Mission in the Republic of Ireland in partnership with the Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.

The licensing of the Lead Community Evangelist of the Tuam Centre of Mission, Emma Bolster Rodrigues, was held last week at St Muredach’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in the town of Ballina, Co. Mayo.

The event also saw the official launch of the Ballina Churches Together Project, an initiative in which four main Christian denominations will partner closely together to identify and address social justice issues in Ballina. The new centre will be based in the town of Ballina.

Irish-born Emma was previously working as a missionary in Brazil.

The Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, the Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, said: “The Tuam Centre of Mission offers the diocese a wonderful opportunity to work together in partnership with Church Army and our ecumenical neighbours in Ballina, known locally as Ballina Churches Together. Under Emma’s leadership, I am confident that the centre will quickly become a source of outreach and spiritual support to those on the margins of the local community.”




The recent 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (reports, Gazette 15th, 22nd and 29th April) issued a series of 45 resolutions. Resolution 24 (which seems earlier to have been numbered C34 and then 23) relates to ‘Walking Together’, receiving the formal report of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Primates’ Meeting of last January, affirming the commitment of the Primates to walk together and expressing a commitment “to continue to seek appropriate ways for the provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the Primates and other Instruments of Communion”. This particular resolution has been the subject of some discussion in relation to whether or not it actually constitutes an endorsing of all the decisions of the January Primates’ Meeting. Be that as it may – and no doubt there will be more on this – there were 44 other resolutions and we will be able to highlight but a few of them here.

Resolution 1 expressed the ACC’s commitment to “intentional discipleship” and we have already commented on this in our editorial in our 15th April issue. The theme clearly is an important impetus to deeper commitment at all levels of the life of the Anglican Communion.

Resolutions 2-4 relate to gender equality issues and the status of women, in particular challenging the Communion “to continue to work at empowering girls and boys, women and men to live and work in relationships that reflect Christian values of love, dignity, and justice”. Resolution 8 refers to the issue of global climate change, in relation to which the ACC “encourages Anglicans everywhere to join in pastoral, priestly and prophetic action”. Resolution 12 affirms the work of the Anglican Alliance, a particularly proactive aid body, as it strengthens “the connectivity and sharing of prayer, capacity, skills and resources for development, relief and advocacy”.

Several resolutions are directed to ecumenical and interfaith relations, one in particular (resolution 13) welcoming the report of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity and Mission, Into All the World: Being and Becoming Apostolic Churches (2014), and proposing the establishment
of an Anglican-Methodist International Co-ordinating Committee “to oversee and foster relationships between Methodist and Anglican member-Churches”. No doubt our own experience in the outworking of the Church of Ireland- Methodist Church in Ireland Covenant will be an important help for other Churches as they seek to deepen Anglican- Methodist relations.

Resolutions 25 and 26 relate to safety in the Church and include a request to the Secretary-General to establish a Safe Church Commission “to identify policies and procedures currently in place for the safety of persons in the provinces of the Anglican Communion”, to develop guidelines to enhance safety and to develop resources for their effective implementation. Resolution 34 affirms youth work throughout the Communion and challenges the different provinces to include young people in decision-making and in their various programmes.

Resolutions 39-43 relate to situations in different parts of the world that are the cause of considerable concern: Burundi, South Sudan, Southern Africa and Pakistan. In connection with the last of these, the ACC resolution raises the issue of the case of Asia Bibi, stating: “The Anglican Consultative Council stands in solidarity and prayer with Asia Bibi, convicted under the Pakistani blasphemy law 295c, who remains in prison; urges that her case be re-investigated and that she be honourably acquitted; and stands in solidarity and prayer with other victims of law 295c & d.” We have referred to the Asia Bibi case in past Gazette issues (most recently,18th December last).

ACC-16 has clearly covered an immense amount of ground and the Church of Ireland will no doubt be giving careful consideration to all of its resolutions. It will require time and commitment to work through the issues but the ACC has done us all a favour by highlighting what clearly are important matters of global significance. Moreover, considering the considerable range of subjects covered in the resolutions will enable us in the Church of Ireland to see our own concerns in a broader perspective. That is always welcome.

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Letters to the Editor

1916 Gazette

The 1916 Church of Ireland Gazette, republished with last week’s issue, made for a fascinating read. I was particularly intrigued by the front page appeal headlined, “Friends of Armenia”.

It was subtitled: “You can help save thousands of lives”, and went on to describe an “urgent appeal” for funds for the relief of Armenian refugees in Russia  “over 250,000 in number” – to provide “food, clothing, medicines, disinfectants and every other necessity”.

With just a couple of changes to the names of those involved, this same appeal could have been written about those with whom Christian Aid is working today, fleeing from terror and conflict.

The difference is, of course,  that compared to 1916, Europe today is wealthy, stable and atpeace.

If we could help desperate refugees in the midst of our own difficult circumstances 100 years ago, we can certainly help them today.

Adrian Horsman
Christian Aid Ireland 96 Beechill Road Belfast BT8 7QN

St Thomas’s, Dugort – Thanks

Thank you for publishing my letter regarding the window renovations in St Thomas’s church, Dugort, Achill Island (Gazette, 26th February).

The generosity of your readers is truly amazing.

To update one and all, a family with historic links to Achill approached me and asked to fund the windows in memory of their grandfather, who is buried at the church and the 100th anniversary of whose death falls this month.
The many donations from Gazette readers will now be used to restore two more windows at the same time as the Gothic windows currently being restored.

Once again many thanks to the Gazette and your readers.

Tim Stevenson,
Hon. Treasurer

St Thomas’s Church Dugort Achill Co. Mayo


Book Review

Author: Iain Provan

Publisher: SPCK


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