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

  • Rt Rev Patrick Rooke (Chair)
  • Vacant (Treasurer)
  • Mrs Iris Suitor (Secretary)
  • Ms Ruth Handy
  • Rt Rev Ferran Glenfield
  • Dean Niall Sloane
  • Rev John Ardis
  • Rev Claire Henderson
  • Rev Canon Jonathan Pierce
  • Mrs Claire Holmes
  • Mrs Gillian Purser


Lydia Monds works part time as the Education Advisor to the Bishops’ Appeal.  In this role she:
  • is responsible for clarifying and strengthening the strategic vision and aims of the Bishops’ Appeal remit
  • consults with the committee on best practise in funding sustainable and ethical development initiatives
  • delivers sermons and talks and facilitates workshops on projects funded and wider justice issues at churches, synods, diocesan events and schools.
  • liaises with partner agencies (mission agencies and NGOs) who apply for funding
  • provides support for diocesan representatives in their role, particularly in dioceses with Link Projects
  • writes press releases, articles and updates for diocesan councils, synods, websites and magazines
  • oversees the administrative duties of the fund including annual reports and conference facilitation
Lynda Small, Patricia Wilson and Duncan Holmes from the Representative Church Body 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 committee is extremely grateful to them for all they do.

Bishops Appeal Diocesan Representatives

The main roles of the diocesan representatives include:

  • To receive the envelopes & annual leaflets and disseminate them to parishes in their diocese. 
  • To receive updates about projects funded or appeals launched and to dissemninate 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, vestries and treasurers – as to where they send their donations
Diocesan Representatives:
Dublin & Glendalough: Mr Geoffrey McMaster:
Rev Ken Rue
Meath & Kildare: Rev William Steacy
Cashel, Ferns & Ossory: Mrs Gillian Purser
Mrs Valerie Power
Cork, Cloyne & Ross: Mr Andrew Coleman
Limerick & Killaloe: Rev Jim Stephens
Tuam, Killala & Achonry: Rev Canon Jen McWhirter
Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh: Mr Albert Dawson
Clogher: Vacant
Derry & Raphoe: Rev Claire Henderson
ConnorRev Elaine O’Brien
Armagh: Rev Elizabeth Stevenson
Down & Dromore: Rev Colin Darling

Mission Agencies & NGOs

Bishops’ Appeal partners with mission agencies and NGOs who model best practise 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.
– valuing the Dochas code of conduct for Images and Messages and showing dignified pictures and stories from communities where they work.
Main Mission/NGO Partners: