Church of Ireland appoints first woman bishop

Rev Pat Storey is first female bishop in Ireland or Britain

Rev Pat Storey, who has been appointed new Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare

Rev Pat Storey, who has been appointed new Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare


Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs, Correspondent

The Church of Ireland has appointed its first woman bishop. Rev Pat Storey was yesterday elected as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare, to succeed Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, who last December was appointed Church of Ireland primate and Archbishop of Armagh.

Rev Storey, who is the also the first woman bishop in Ireland or Britain, is 53 and has been rector of St Augustine’s in Derry since 2004. Married to Rev Earl Storey they have two adult children, Carolyn (25) and Luke (22).

Having grown up in Belfast and studied French and English at Trinity College Dublin,Rev Storey trained at the Church of Ireland Theological College (now Institute) in Dublin and was ordained deacon in 1997 and priest in 1998.

She served as a curate in Ballymena Co Antrim and was team vicar in Glenavy Co Antrim as well as a part-time youth worker co-ordinator with the Church of Ireland Youth Department. She is also a member of the Standing Committee of the General Synod.

Announcing her appointment today Archbishop Clarke said that “having known Pat Storey since she was an undergraduate and I was chaplain at Trinity College, Dublin, I very much welcome her as a new bishop. She is a person of great warmth, intelligence and spiritual depth and I am certain that her ministry in the dioceses of Meath and Kildare and the wider Church will be a blessing to many. We remember her and her family in our prayers.”

In response, Rev Storey said she was “both excited and daunted by this new adventure in our lives. I have had an extraordinarily happy experience in St Augustine’s and in this wonderful city which I will be sad to leave. However, I count it an enormous privilege to begin a new phase of my ministry with the people of Meath and Kildare, and I look forward to working with the team of clergy who are already there. I would sincerely ask for your prayers for myself and my family, who are the best family in the world!”

Her appointment had passed to the Church of Ireland House of Bishops yesterday as the episcopal electoral college for Meath and Kildare, which met on May 28th last failed to appoint a new bishop of the dioceses. On being contacted after the House of Bishop’s decision yesterday Rev Storey asked for some to consider the Bishops’ historic and momentous decision.

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