New head of Church of Ireland elected

Published Wednesday, 03 October 2012
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Dr Richard Clarke has been elected as the new Archbishop of Armagh and Church of Ireland Primate.

New head of Church of Ireland elected
Dr Richard Clarke is the new Primate of All Ireland. (© Church of Ireland)

The Bishop of Meath and Kildare was chosen by the church's House of Bishops.

The announcement, which was made at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast on Wednesday, follows the retirement of Archbishop Alan Harper on 30 September.

Dr Clarke will take up the post on 15 December. The Archbishop designate, who is 63 years old, has two adult children and one grandson. His wife Linda died in 2009.

The Archbishop designate thanked his fellow bishops for their appointment.

"I truly feel neither worthy of the heritage into which I am to enter nor adequate for the tasks that lie ahead," he said.

"The God of Christian belief is, however, a God of grace rather than a god who looks for human self-sufficiency.

"All I can pledge is that I will give this task the very best of which I am capable, and the prayer of all of us must be that God in his grace will enable some good to come from this."

Cardinal Séan Brady, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, said he looked forward to working with Dr Clarke.

"I wish him many blessings as he takes up his new responsibilities. I pray that God will grant him all the grace and wisdom and courage he needs and I assure him of my own cooperation and that of the Catholic community in Armagh in the promotion of greater understanding and the common well-being in these difficult and challenging times."

While Rev Kenneth Lindsay, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland also welcomed Bishop Clarke to the role.

"Coming to the See of Patrick, Dr.Clarke will bring his historical and theological scholarship as well as his intellectual gifts and most of all his spirituality," he commented.

The Archdeacon of Armagh Raymond Hoey will carry out the responsibilities of the diocese until Dr Clarke officially takes up the post.

Provincial responsibilities will be carried by the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson until this date.

© UTV News
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