August 31, 2019
My name is Anne-Marie Organ and I’m a newly co-opted member and Trustee of the Ecclesiastical Law Society. I am the Diocesan Registry Clerk for Chichester and St Albans, and a committee member of the Association of Diocesan Registry Clerks (ADRC), helping to plan and run our annual conferences. I am hopeful that my membership of ELS and ADRC will be beneficial to both bodies and lead to some fruitful cross-pollination.
I was a school governor and Chair of Governors for a number of years and bring this experience with me. I have also been a Parish Safeguarding Officer and have held office as Convenor, Area Secretary, JPIC representative and as a member of the General Chapter Organising Group within the Franciscan Third Order (TSSF) of which I have been a member for nearly 20 years. I am married to a Parish Priest in the Diocese of Southwark and have two children, both of whom have additional needs, giving me some experience and understanding of accessibility issues.
Prior to having children I was the Administrative Assistant to the then Bishop of Southwark and it was whilst in this role that I became interested in Ecclesiastical Law – all the interesting questions involved calling the Registry for an answer, so as you might have guessed I am delighted to be in my current job, finding the answers to all the interesting questions!
A key aspect of my role involves helping clergy and parish office holders navigate various aspects of Ecclesiastical Law. The most common enquiries I get involve the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, marriage law, vacancies and appointments. Anything I can do to facilitate the dissemination and understanding of Ecclesiastical Law to those at the coal face is very much part of my role as a Registry Clerk, but is also a key part of the outworking of my vocation as a Franciscan Tertiary to serve God and the Church. Being part of the Ecclesiastical Law Society means that I can both contribute to its important work, and also apply what I learn in my role and thus be better placed to assist enquirers.
I have already found both the Journal and the London lectures beneficial and interesting, and look forward to both shaping and being shaped by my involvement with the Ecclesiastical Law Society.