Next Thursday the General Synod will begin its annual three-day meeting, which this year will be held in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire.
In addition to the two major reports, those of the Standing Committee and the Representative Church Body, the Synod will also consider, among others: issues relating to liturgy, mission and ministry; human sexuality; Anglican, ecumenical and inter-faith relations; and the covenant with the Methodist Church.
However, it is expected that the “big issue” this year will be the recommendations of the Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures which suggest changes in the method of electing bishops and alterations to diocesan boundaries which would result in the reduction of the number of bishops, in due course, from 12 to 11.
On Friday morning the Church of Ireland Council for Mission will host a General Synod Mission Breakfast at 8am in Christ Church Parochial Hall, Park Road, at which the speaker will be Lydia Monds, education adviser to the Bishops' Appeal. Later, at lunchtime in the Methodist Church, Northumberland Road, Changing Attitude Ireland will host a meeting at which the speaker will be Jayne Ozanne, a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, who has been modelling "good disagreement" between those who differ on issues of human sexuality. To bring the day to a pleasant conclusion there will be a concert of choral and organ music at 7.30pm in St Paul's church, Glenageary.
This morning (Saturday), as part of the link between the Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough and the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, theological adviser to the Archbishop of Dublin, will lead the first in a two-part course designed to broaden knowledge of life in the Diocese of Jerusalem. The study is based on Land of Promise, an Anglican exploration of Christian attitudes to the Holy Land, and will begin in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute at 10am.
Tomorrow (Sunday) morning Christian Aid will lead worship on RTÉ television, and in the evening at 6pm St John the Evangelist Church, Sandymount, will celebrate its patronal festival of St John before the Latin Gate with Solemn Mass at which the preacher will be the Revd Andrew McCroskery. In St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, at 8pm David Leigh will continue his organ recitals to mark the centenary of the death of Max Reger. On Wednesday evening, the anniversary of Reger's death, there will be a special recital at 8pm.
Another eagerly-awaited event will take place in St Patrick's on Monday afternoon when the cathedral chapter will meet to elect a successor as dean to the Very Revd Victor Stacey who has retired from the stipendiary ministry. The chapter consists of 24 canons and must elect from among their own number.
The Dublin & Glendalough Retired Clergy Fellowship will hold its AGM in Glenageary Church Centre next Tuesday. Following the meeting the Revd Robert Kingston, Chaplain to the Mageough Home in Dublin, will talk on Ministry in Town and Country.
On Saturday, May 14th, the 200th anniversary of the Claremont Institution for the Deaf will be celebrated. A commemorative plaque will be unveiled at St Clare's Home. At Deaf Village Ireland, in Cabra, the Deaf Heritage Centre will host an exhibition, storytelling and a drama show covering the history of the Claremont Institution. Copies of the history of the institution, The Avenue may be obtained from the author Rachel Pollard at email@example.com