Cork, Cloyne and Ross is a Diocese – the most southerly of the twelve dioceses of the Church of Ireland.
A ‘Diocese’ or ‘See’ is a regional or geographical grouping of parishes and ministries – clergy and lay people – under the care of a bishop.
The Church of Ireland:
- is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion which has 85 million members in 165 countries.
- is an apostolic church, maintaining an unbroken link with the early apostles and drawing on the apostolic faith in its teaching and worship.
- is a Catholic and Reformed church.
- is able to trace its roots to the earliest days of Irish Christianity.
- is a church with three orders of sacred ministry – Bishops, Priests and Deacons.
- has religious Services which follow an accepted liturgical form and structure.
- has one prayer book – The Book of Common Prayer – as well as other services authorised for use by the General Synod.
- keeps a balance in doctrine and worship between Word and Sacrament.
- has the Eucharist as its central act of worship.
- is one church encompassing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- has 390,000 members – 275,000 in Northern Ireland and 129,039 in the Republic of Ireland (Census 2011).
- is organised in two Provinces, Armagh and Dublin, each with an Archbishop.
- has 12 dioceses, over 450 parochial units and over 500 stipendiary clergy
- is a representative church, with each diocese electing those who will represent them at the General Synod, the ‘Parliament’ of the church.
- has two houses in its General Synod: a House of Bishops which has 12 members and a House of Representatives which has 216 clergy and 432 laity.
- also has Diocesan Synods where representatives of the parishes meet usually once a year.
- has a parochial system where decisions at local level are made by Select Vestries whose lay members are elected each Easter by the people of the parish.