Sunday, 10 May 2009

General Synod ends on a high note

Archbishop Alan Harper and Archbishop John neill outside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, this morning

Patrick Comerford

This year’s General Synod of the Church of Ireland ended this afternoon in glorious sunshine that felt like summer was on its way.

After a morning stroll through the rolling hills and the fields filled with orchards and apple blossom just south of Loughgall, I headed into Armagh for the Synod Eucharist in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, which was addressed by both Bishop Trevor Williams of Limerick and Killaloe and Cardinal Sean Brady.

The lessons were read by the Revd Tony Davidson, President of the Irish Council of Churches, and Bishop Bruce Cameron, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Gospel was read by Archbishop John Neill of Dublin.

Despite earlier media speculation, there were no controversies about who was taking part or who was present. The intercessions were led by people – clerical and lay – who had worked on the Hard Gospel Project.

This afternoon’s session of the General Synod opened with the announcement of the media awards in the competitions for the best websites, magazines and innovative use of modern media by individuals, parishes and dioceses.

It is a personal pleasure that this blog came first in the Blog category in the New Technologies Competition. This year’s winners are:

Parish magazines/newsletters:

Winner: Parish of Castledermot and Kinnegh, Narraghmore and Timolin (Four Churches One Parish);
Runner-up: The Columban, Saint Columba’s, Knock, Belfast;
Highly commended: Taney News, Taney Parish, Dublin.

Diocesan magazines:

Winner: N:Vision, Derry and Raphoe;
Runner-up: The Ambassador, Armagh.

Other organisations’ magazines:

Winner: Focus, Mothers’ Union Ireland.

Parish websites:

Winner: Saint Mary’s, Ballybeen, Dundonald;
Runner-up: Taney Parish, Dublin.

Diocesan websites:

Winner: Down and Dromore Diocese;
Runner-pp: Dublin and Glendalough Diocese.

Other websites:

Winner: Summer Madness, Ignite website.

New Technologies:

Winner: Canon Patrick Comerford’s blog;
Runner Up: Summer Madness’ SMS Bible Texting Service.

Canon Paul Draper, of the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, was the winner of the caption competition, with this caption:

“Same Socks Marriage”

The photograph is: