Parishes responded ‘amazingly’ to challenges - Bishop

Church of Ireland bishop of Connor the Rev George Davison has praised parishes in his diocese for responding “amazingly” in the face of prolonged lock-down and the covid pandemic over the past two years.

The bishop said parishioners adapted well, learned new skills, found imaginative ways of keeping connected and altered the way that they worked to meet a new situation.

Connor is the largest diocese in Northern Ireland with 73 congregations stretching from north Belfast throughout Co Antrim, with a parish membership in excess of 100,000.

Bishop Davison, speaking at the diocesan synod in St Anne’s cathedral, Belfast, spoke of challenges including changing patterns of life; finance and resources; of increasing burdens of red–tape; and the difficulty of finding the volunteers needed to do everything that needs done at parish level.

Bishop George Davison

“As a diocese, I want us to nurture a sense of the support that we can be to one another. It is vital that we understand the diocese as part of who we are, part of that wider network of wider relationships that connects and supports us as Christians,” he said.

This was the first in–person synod since June 2019, and was preceded by a service of holy communion.

Bishop Davison said he had called the synod with “a genuine sense of joy”.