The Synod is more or less the AGM for the Diocese, noted the President, the Rt. Rev. John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher, at the outset of his address.
"Our Stewardship of our physical and financial resources is a very serious and sacred trust and we do well to remember that what we are doing here this evening is not simply for our good, but for the good of our children and grandchildren and for generations yet unborn," said the Bishop.
He believes that "many States in the Western World are facing up to the fact that, for the first time in perhaps a century, the next generation will not be as well off as our generations have been. In our stewardship I hope we can do better."
Reflecting on the visit of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, he recalled "how joyful an occasion it turned out to be." The Dean of Clogher, who was responsible for most of its organisation "is still being contacted by people from all over the world saying how much they enjoyed the televised coverage," said the Bishop.
"Everywhere I go, I too am showered with very positive comments about the excellent organisation, the sincerity of the worship and the warmth of the occasion. And there is no doubt which part of the televised coverage has made the greatest impact; and that is the walk across the road by the clergy, Protestant and Roman Catholic, to St. Michael's Church. That part of the day was only possible because Canon O'Reilly and his parishioners entered so wholeheartedly into the spirit of the occasion; and for that I wish to thank him and them equally wholeheartedly."
The Primate, The Most Rev. Alan Harper is retiring at the end of this month, and the Bishop felt it was a good time for him to pay tribute to "his unwavering loyalty and dedication to his high calling."
A Pre-Synod Service of Holy Communion in St. Macartin's Cathedral preceded the annual Synod.
A full report and photographs will be carried in next week's Impartial Reporter.