13 March 2012

A day in Edinburgh talking about deacons and the diaconate

The offices of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Patrick Comerford

I am in Edinburgh for the first time today [Tuesday, 13 March 2012], taking part in a Seminar hosted by the Diaconate Working Group (DWG) of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The seminar, “Deacons, the Diaconate and Diakonia,” takes place from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the General Synod Office of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh.

The Diaconate Working Group was set up to look again at the issue of a renewed diaconate and the role of the diaconate and Deacons within the Scottish Episcopal Church, partly as a preparation for the next Consultation on the Diaconate organised by Porvoo Communion of Churches, which takes place in Ireland next year, and partly because this issue appears to be alive in the Churches on these islands.

The Faith and Order Board (F&O) and the Mission and Ministry Board (MMB) of the Scottish Episcopal Church asked the Diaconate Working Group to engage with ecumenical partners to explore their understanding, and any current developments, in neighbouring Churches relating to the diaconate.

The delegates come from the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Ireland, the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army, and Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS).

As delegates, we have each been asked to prepare a five-minute presentation on the following:

● What is a Deacon in your tradition?
● In what ways is the diaconal calling expressed in the life of your church?
● Is the diaconal ministry a ‘live’ issue for your church?
● What are the future plans regarding diakonia in your church?

There will be 10 minutes for comments and questions, so we have 15 minutes each.

The presentations will contribute to an appendix to go with Truly Called 2 which is to be circulated to participants, to the SEC’s ecumenical partners in Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), and to the Scottish Churches’ National Sponsoring Body for Local Ecumenical Partnerships (NSB), which is currently looking at models of ministry.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and a canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

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