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A considerable amount of business still remained before Synod as it met for the final session on Thursday afternoon.

The Reports of the Board of Education were received and debated. Revd Canon Houston McKelvey was thanked for his outstanding contribution over the years in the work of Education and congratulated on his recent appointment as Dean of Belfast. Canon McKelvey thanked those who had supported him in his work of education, singling out especially the Primate, the Chief Officer and the government ministers who had co-operated with him.

The Bishop of Connor and Mr Trevor Morrow (Limerick) introduced the changes being introduced in the restructuring of the Role of the Church Committee. There was further sympathy and concern for the farming community with its present problems. Particular concern and the assurance of prayerful support were expressed for the victims of the years of violence in Northern Ireland.

The Report of the Church of Ireland Marriage Council was sensitively introduced by the Bishop of Tuam and a short but meaningful debate ensued.

The Report of the Committee for Christian Unity was presented. The Bishop of Cashel referred to the present difficulties caused by the Dominus Iesus document. He concluded his speech - "It is with a heavy heart, but a sincere determination to keep alive the ecumenical vision that I propose this report".  A considerable very positive debate ensued. The Bishop of Down and Dromore commended the Report of the Methodist/Church of Ireland Joint Theological Working Party.

Following the Report of the Church's Ministry of Healing and The Report of the Hymnal Revision Committee the remaining business was put formally from the chair as the closing time of 4.30 had been reached.

The President thanked all who had assisted in the organisation of the Synod, especially the Honorary Secretaries the Very Reverend H Cassidy, Mr S Harper, Lady Sheil and Revd Canon R D Harman.

He also praised among many others his Assessor Mr Michael Davey, Ms Valerie Beatty, Head of General and Synod Services, Mr Derek Philips, the Chief Officer and all the staff of Church House, the Press Officer and staff, and most of all the members for their attendance.

The Archbishop of Dublin thanked the President for his outstanding and excellent chairmanship of the synod.

Attendance figures were:

Tuesday: Clerical 183 Lay 280 TOTAL 463
Wednesday: Clerical 188 Lay 276 TOTAL 464
Thursday: Clerical 154 Lay 186 TOTAL 340

General Synod 2001 was closed with prayer.

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