Former Church of Ireland bishop becomes Iona Institute patron
Chairman says appointment reflects inter-denominational nature of organisation
The Rt Rev Ken Clarke, former Bishop of Kilmore, will join a panel of patrons of the Iona Institute, it has been announced.
The Iona Institute has announced that former Church of Ireland Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh Right Rev Ken Clarke (65) is to become one of its patrons.
He stood down as bishop at the end of 2012 after 13 years in the diocese and became full-time Mission Director of SAMS Ireland (South American Mission Society) in January last year.
On assuming the role he said he was “keen to develop and deepen links with Anglicans in South America and in other parts of the Anglican Communion. The development of leaders and the facilitation of missional opportunities will be amongst my priorities. My links with SAMS Ireland stretch over most of my forty years in ordained ministry and I have served as chairperson since 1993.”
On the evangelical wing of the Church of Ireland, he was educated at at Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, Co Down before attending Trinity College Dublin. Ordained in 1972, he served as curate in Magherlin and Dundonald in Co Down before serving as a missionary in Chile.
Later he was rector at Crinken in Dublin following which he was rector in Coleraine, Co Derry for 15 years before being consecrated bishop in 2001. He and his wife Helen have four daughters.
At the Iona Institute he joins other patrons, including psychiatrist Prof Patricia Casey, teacher and Irish Times columnist Breda O’Brien, former professor of moral theology at St Patrick’s College Maynooth Fr Vincent Twomey, and Blackrock Clinic founder Dr James Sheehan.
Commenting on Bishop Clarke’s agreement to become a patron, the chairman of the Iona Institute, and lecturer at Dublin’s Mater Dei Institute, Dr John Murray said: “We are very pleased and honoured that Bishop Clarke has agreed to become one of our patrons. The Iona Institute’s stances on issues like marriage and the family, denominational schools, the right to life and the place of religion in society are not specific to any particular Christian denomination and are in fact, inter-denominational. The fact that Bishop Clarke has agreed to be one of our patrons reflects this fact”.