Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee meets 6 times a year to prayerfully consider funding applications and to allocate those funds in the most effective way on behalf of the Church who is the donor, and on behalf of the mission agencies, NGOs and international communities whose inspiring initiatives that tackle poverty need resourcing.

Over the years of Bishops’ Appeal’s existence, the committee has funded projects in 90 countries worldwide, serving those hardest hit by natural disasters and debilitating poverty.   The committee has a long history of ensuring that funds are used to support local economies: using local resources and employing local staff to reduce costs and to ensure that the project is community-owned, community-led and community-run.

Often the committee will support churches as they partner with mission agencies to respond to the needs in their communities.  These churches do not distinguish between parishioners and non-parishioners, rather they respond to where there is most need.  Similarly, the committee often funds projects where the ultimate recipient remains unaware that the resourcing of the programme that allows them to start a small business, or become literate or send their children to school is the Church.  We believe that in both instances we are being the hands and feet of Christ, strengthening the mission and witness of the Church but also taking opportunities to bless indiscriminately and without recognition.

Committee Membership

  • Bishop Ferran Glenfield (Chair)
  • Mrs Iris Suitor (Hon. Secretary)
  • Rev John Ardis
  • Canon Jonathan Pierce
  • Dean Niall Sloane
  • Ms Ruth Handy
  • Rev Claire Henderson
  • Mrs Claire Holmes


The role of the Education Advisor to the Bishops’ Appeal, Hilary McClay, is as follows:
  • to raise awareness in the Church of Ireland of issues in world development
  • to network with parishes, schools and the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and to encourage them to fundraise and pray for the world development issues in an informed way
  • to liaise with the voluntary diocesan representatives to promote, share, and provide resources and training when required
  • to identify and coordinate projects that can be recommended to individual dioceses for adoption by them
  • to provide resource material and information to General Synod and also to other Diocesan Synods where possible
Staff from the Representative Church Body’s Finance Department oversee finances, financial reports and project payments.  They also acknowledges receipt of donations and supports people when they have queries regarding tax rebates or gift aid.  This becomes a hectic task not least during emergency appeals for disaster relief and during annual accounts auditing.   The Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee is extremely grateful to them for all that they do.

Bishops Appeal Diocesan Representatives

The main roles of the diocesan representatives include:

  • To receive the envelopes and annual leaflets and disseminate them to parishes in their diocese
  • To receive updates about projects funded or appeals launched and to disseminate the information to parishes through newsletters, diocesan magazines and diocesan websites
  • To promote the work of Bishops’ Appeal and encourage parishes and individuals and indeed the diocese as a whole to donate generously in support of the ongoing work
  • To direct parishes – clergy, select vestries and treasurers – as to where they send their donations

Diocesan Representatives

Mr Geoffrey McMaster – Dublin & Glendalough
Rev Ken Rue – Dublin & Glendalough

Mrs Valerie Power & Mrs Gillian Purser – Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Mr Andrew Coleman – Cork, Cloyne & Ross
Rev Jim Stephens Limerick & Killaloe

Rev Claire Henderson – Derry & Raphoe

Rev Elaine O’Brien Connor

Rev Elizabeth Stevenson Armagh
Rev Albert Dawson – Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh

Rev William Steacy – Meath and Kildare

Rev Colin Darling – Down & Dromore

Mission Agencies & NGOs

Bishops’ Appeal partners with mission agencies and NGOs who model best practice in development work.  This includes working in partnership with communities, listening to their needs rather than imposing outside solutions on them, and empowering them to find and work towards long term and sustainable resilience; and valuing the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages and showing dignified pictures and stories from communities where they work.

Main Mission/NGO Partners: