Report of the Diocesan Synod 29th June 2019

Members of the Diocesan Synod after the Vote to Unite with Tuam Diocese

The Limerick & Killaloe Diocesan Synod met on Saturday 29th June in Villiers School, Limerick.
There was a very full agenda for the Synod with all the usual elections and reports from committees and church bodies. There was also some very important business to transact which involved the proposed union of our diocese with that of Tuam, Kilalla and Achonry.
It had been four years ago that the Diocesan Council of Limerick and Killaloe decided to explore with the Diocesan Council of Tuam, Kilalla and Achonry whether some common ground could be found which would lead to a more effective way of ministry in the West and South-West of Ireland. This joint working group had worked hard looking at many options and eventually came forward with a proposal which was approved last year’s Diocesan Synod. The Bishop thanked Joc Sanders for his devoted work bringing the two dioceses together in the Joint Working Group. Joc was aided by Peter Whyte from our diocese and Professor Paul Johnston from Tuam Diocese who had meticulously gone through the different Standing Orders and reconciled the differences to form a common set of new Standing Orders acceptable to both Dioceses. Bishop Kenneth thanked them all for their work which had eased the progress of uniting the two dioceses.
To the obvious delight of everyone present the synod unanimously passed a resolution giving consent to the uniting of Limerick & Killaloe with Tuam, Killala & Achonry to form a new United Dioceses of Tuam, Limerick & Killaloe.
Commenting on the result Bishop Kenneth said, “Our biggest issues here in the West and South West are small parishes and huge distances. Those issues won’t go away. But we will face them with a stronger united diocese, and with a louder voice within the church, as we continue to articulate the needs, hopes and aspirations of the Church in the West and South West”.
The synod then continued with its usual business of elections and reports and heard of the exciting work being done by the Untied Diocesan Youth Council and the initiatives being taken to encourage people to think about ordination. To help address climate change Bishop Kenneth suggested that every parish should adopt the proposals from General Synod to show that as a church we take our responsibilities for God’s creation seriously, every parish throughout this diocese should do three things:
1. Set aside part of the churchyard and let it go wild, to support bees and other essential wildlife which are under threat, to flourish.
2. Get rid of plastic and polystyrene cups for coffee after church.
3. Get the church boiler and heating system inspected to make sure it is efficient.