On Monday, 8th November 2021, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, announced that the annual Diocesan Synod, involving clergy and lay representatives from the Diocese, will not be held in person as originally planned, but will now take place online on Saturday 27th November at 11 a.m. instead, using video conferencing facilities.
Writing to the clergy and lay members of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Synod, Bishop Colton explained that one of the responsibilities of the Bishop of the Diocese is to summon the annual Diocesan Synod and, in so doing, to decide when and where it will meet.
Bishop Colton said:
‘When I planned this year’s meeting for 27th November and arranged for it to be held in person in the Rochestown Park Hotel, I was looking forward, after an extended period of not gathering in a way that is so vital and energising for our life and fellowship as a Diocese, to being in the same room with you all once again. I fully expected that I was safe in choosing what was then a distant date.’
‘We now know, however, that the trajectory of the Coronavirus Pandemic is more volatile and complex than we anticipated. From news reports we know that we are still not living in a settled and safe period. Moreover, we are all, particularly those of us in certain age groups, being urged to take personal responsibility and to restrict our contact with one another.’
‘Taking all this into account and being conscious of my pastoral responsibility as your Bishop, I have decided not to pursue a course that might be imprudent or which might lead you into jeopardy. I have decided, with disappointment it has to be said, that the wise course of action is that we should not meet in person this year, once again, but that a brief functional meeting should take place using video conferencing facilities instead.’