Thursday, 7 June 2012

Archbishop Alan Harper to retire

Church of Ireland press release

Archbishop Harper To Retire

The Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and Metropolitan, The Most Revd Alan Harper, OBE, has announced his intention to retire later this year. The decision will take effect from 1 October 2012.

Archbishop Harper, who is 68, has been a bishop for 10 years having served as Bishop of Connor from 2002 to 2007; he was elected as Archbishop of Armagh in January 2007 and enthroned in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh on 16 March 2007. A former Chairman of the Historic Monuments Council for Northern Ireland (Member 1980–1988, Chairman 1988–1995), he was awarded an O.B.E. for services to Conservation in Northern Ireland in 1996. The Archbishop is married to Helen and has four children and ten grandchildren.

Archbishop Harper will continue to carry out all the duties and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland as normal until 30 September 2012.

The Church of Ireland House of Bishops will consider in due course the selection of a successor…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 7 June 2012 at 3:45pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of Ireland

Harper leaves the Irish Church the only representative from the British Isles in the "first tier" of Anglican Communion affairs.

Back in 2009 Williams, spiritual leader of the communion, spoke of a "two-tier" or "two-track" model -- one path for those who remain part of the communion's "covenantal structure," and another with "fewer formal expectations" for those who value autonomy.

"It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are -- two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out," Williams wrote.

Perhaps at the meetings of the Celtic bishops Harper's successor will sit alone in another (larger and more important room) while messages/questions from the rest will be sent in for him to consult with other first tier leaders.
Wasn't that what was proposed for the Dublin Primates meeting in January last year?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 8 June 2012 at 4:25pm BST

"Harper leaves the Irish Church the only representative from the British Isles in the "first tier" of Anglican Communion affairs."
- Martin Reynolds -

An interesting observation, Martin - especially when we realise that the Church of England Dioceses have, by a great majority - rejected the Covenant! This means that - unless the C.of E. General Synod overturns the decision of Diocesan Synods and accepts the Covenant; even the Church of England will be in the Second Tier of membership of the Anglican Covenant - an unusual state of affairs, to say the very least!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 9 June 2012 at 1:31am BST

Ron, as I understand the rules, there is no mechanism that Lambeth Palace could possibly manipulate which would allow the Church of England to adopt the Anglican Covenant prior to the election of the next General Synod in 2015.

That said, I fully expect to see an assortment of Machiavellian manoeuvres and manipulations to force through a "mind of the Synod" sort of resolution that purports to affirm this "blancmange with shards of glass."

Hopefuly a majority of Synod members will recognize such a resolution for the entirely unethical fiddle it is.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Sunday, 10 June 2012 at 12:51am BST
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