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Church of Ireland’s first female bishop ordained

By Sarah Mac Donald - 01 December, 2013

Bishop Pat Storey of Kildare and Meath. Photo: Paul Harron/Church of Ireland Press Office

Bishop Pat Storey of Kildare and Meath. Photo: Paul Harron/Church of Ireland Press Office

Bishop Pat Storey, the Church of Ireland’s first female bishop, was consecrated in Dublin on Saturday in a service of ordination at Christ Church Cathedral presided over by Archbishop Michael Jackson.

This “historic event” brought together a congregation of over 500 people representing the President, the Taoiseach, members of the Church of Ireland and other faiths.

Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin, and Mgr Dermot Farrell on behalf of Bishop Michael Smith of Meath, joined other religious leaders attending the consecration.

Bishop Storey, who is married to a fellow Anglican clergyman, and has two adult children, is the first woman bishop consecrated by the Anglican Church in Ireland and Britain.

The 53-year-old Belfast native served as the rector of St Augustine’s parish in Derry until she was chosen as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

In his homily, Rev Nigel Parker, Rector of the Parish of St Comgall in Bangor and a personal friend of the new bishop’s, paid tribute to her commitment to the faith and serving people.

“You have given yourself whole-heartedly to Him and His Church, serving His people as a deacon and priest – teaching the Scriptures and pastoring with that disarming directness, which is your hallmark – a directness, which speaks the truth in love, with a ready laugh and delightful sense of humour,” he told the packed cathedral.

The service of ordination was attended by Bishop Storey’s father and brother, as well as her husband, son, daughter and son–in–law and many close friends and family members.

The Bishop’s husband, Rev Earl Storey, read the Old Testament reading.

Bishop Pat Storey and Rev Earl Storey

Bishop Pat Storey with her husband Rev Earl Storey. Photo: Paul Harron/Church of Ireland Press Office.

The consecration brought together a large number of serving and retired bishops of the Church of Ireland, including the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, and former Archbishop of Dublin, the Rt Revd Dr Walton Empey.

From the wider Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury was represented by the Ven. Sheila Watson; the Scottish Episcopal Church by the Primus, the Most Revd David Chillingworth, and the Church in Wales by Archbishop Barry Morgan.

The Porvoo Communion was represented by the Rt Revd Karsten Nissen. Also attending from other Irish Christian Church traditions were the Rev Dr Heather Morris, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland; the Rt Rev Dr Rob Craig, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; and Dr Gesa Thiessen of the Lutheran Church. Dr Ali Selim attended on behalf the Islamic Community.

State representation included Colonel Brendan McAndrew, Aide–de–camp, attending for President Michael D. Higgins; Cmdt Alan Bulger representing An Taoiseach; and Deputy Sean O’Fearchail, TD for Kildare.

A reception was held in the State apartments at Dublin Castle following the service.

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