The new United Diocese met on 24th September, 2022 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Tuam, Co Galway. A historic occasion as this was the first time synod members from both of the former dioceses would come together. The combined synod began with a service of Holy Communion presided over by the Rt Revd Michael Burrows. He delivered his presidential address during the service and in doing so, reflected on the Lambeth Conference – saying that there had been many memorable moments and he had come away with encouragement on the way in which longstanding differences in interpretation of scripture had been handled. One keynote speech had concerned him, the speaker had said we should regard the making of disciples in the same way that McDonald’s make burgers or Starbuck’s makes coffee. Bishop Michael preferred a more biblical approach pointing out the Greek word paradidomi, often translated as “to betray” but also as “to deliver” or “hand on”. He said that everything before the Synod on the Agenda should be examined to see if it was a genuine act of handing on. The duty of the Synod being to hand over to the next generation something beautiful and sustainable, for that is authentic handing over. He said we should enjoy Synod and understand that we are not McDonalds or Starbucks but as we are in the Church of God, we are to make disciples by handing on this Good News. The business of the synod continued with the Bishop explaining that this meeting was being held in the context of what had previously been agreed between the two former dioceses, it was therefore a meeting of two synods meeting together and jointly, under one bishop. As proceedings continued, the various reports were heard in turn, some received jointly and there were two elections – The Rev John Godfrey was elected as diocesan representative Canon to the Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and Mr Roy Benson and Mrs Heather Pope were elected as TLK RB Reps. The Communications Report revealed a glimpse of the new TLK website and referred to plans to integrate Tidings and Newslink into one publication. The Synod closed with prayer, after which it was announced that ice-creams were being served in the cathedral car park to all attendees. A new tradition perhaps..
Stephen Fletcher, Diocesan Communications Officer