Monday 17 December 2018

Richard Clarke elected head of the Church of Ireland

Michael McHugh

RICHARD Clarke has been elected head of the Church of Ireland.

The 63-year-old bishop of Meath and Kildare is the new archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland, a spokesman for the organisation confirmed.

Dr Clarke, a widowed father of two from Dublin, is the 105th in the succession of abbots, bishops and archbishops of Armagh since St Patrick.

He said: "I look forward to fresh challenges and joys, along with new friendships and discoveries, in the phase of ministry in the Gospel that now lies ahead, both in the Diocese of Armagh and within the wider fellowship of the Church of Ireland and beyond."

His election will take effect from December 15 this year when he will be enthroned at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh.

It follows the retirement of archbishop Alan Harper at the end of last month.

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

"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."

He said he was sad to leave Meath and Kildare after 16 years of happiness.

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