Reform Ireland commends Sydney diocese on Lay Presidency motion
On 19th October 1999 the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney passed the third reading of the Preaching and Administration of Holy Communion by Lay Persons and Deacons Ordinance 1999.
This ordinance, if assented to by the Archbishop of Sydney, would allow appropriately authorised lay persons and deacons to administer (that is, preside at) the Lord's Supper. The ordinance includes a sunset clause which means that the arrangements under this ordinance would cease after five years unless renewed by the Synod.
The vote was by secret ballot and by houses. In the house of Laity: 224 for, 128 against, 2 informal. In the house of Clergy: 122 for, 66 against, 1 informal.
Reform Ireland notes with favour this decision of Sydney Diocese to allow lay presidency, and commends the Synod for its pioneering spirit. We call upon the General Synod of the Church of Ireland to examine the possibility of lay presidency within our church. We believe such a move to be consistent with the Bible's teaching of the priesthood of all believers, and beneficial to those parishes which do not have the regular services of an ordained presbyter. 19th Oct 1999