——An extract from Rev.Gamble’s address to The General Vestry Meeting——
Rev.Gamble addressing the General Vestry meeting held on Fri. 6th April highlighted the changing scene affecting how we run our parish and the need to respond to new challenges facing us.
He referred to the fact that individual parishes are now registered as charities with an assigned charity number and are now accountable to the Charity Commissioners. Stringent controls will be enforced re. the accountability of income and expenditure and all reporting will be carried out to a set of international accredited financial standards. (FRS 102).
He mentioned the new GDPR regulations, harmonising data privacy and protection across Europe, that come into force on 25th May. From a parish perspective, all personal data retained by the parish needs to be relevant and secure. An individual needs to be made aware and approve of personal data held by the parish and such data has to be accessible to the individual upon request.
All of these new legislation requirements place additional responsibilities on members of the Select Vestry to ensure proper processes are in place and that these are adhered to at all times. The need for computer skills and digital literacy are now essential elements for administering the tasks.
Rev. Gamble referred to the development of physical structure on the southern end of our parish. Thousands of dwellings are to be built in an area stretching from the Clayton Hotel to Clongriffin Station over the next few years. He asked “How do we respond to this?” and added “The question is, what is needed to attract people into St Doulagh’s, not as visitors but as members of the congregation. We must avoid simply marketing St Doulagh’s as a historical building, as has been the case until now.”
He stated “We have something to offer in the quiet reflective worship of Anglicanism which lies at the basis of the Church of Ireland today. We need to avoid trendiness and concentrate on prayerful preaching and personal living out of God’s love, power and presence, and I am absolutely certain that we can do this”.
Rev. Gamble in his concluding remarks thanked the many individuals and organisations that support our parish life.
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