Archbishop Alan Harper announces retirement
Published 08 June 2012
The head of the Church of Ireland, Archbishop Alan Harper, is set to retire this October.
Archbishop Harper, 68, has been a bishop for 10 years, having first served as Bishop of Connor from 2002 to 2007, before being elected as Archbishop of Armagh in 2007.
Prior to that, he was Chairman of the Historic Monuments Council for Northern Ireland from 1988 to 1995, and was awarded an OBE for services to conservation in Northern Ireland in 1996.
He will continue to carry out all the duties and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland until 30 September.
The Church of Ireland's House of Bishops will soon start the process of electing a successor.
The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson, paid tribute to Archbishop Harper's "strong commitment to fairness and steadfastness in office".
"Across the Church of Ireland, Archbishop Harper has sought to enable a wide range of voices to be heard on a broad spectrum of topics," he said.
"He has worked systematically with the leaders of the other main Churches in Ireland and has shown personal commitment in ecumenical relations and in the outworking of the Church of Ireland Methodist Covenant.
"He has also worked tirelessly in the development of a fresh understanding of community in Northern Ireland in the years of peace.
"Together with all my fellow bishops, and the Church of Ireland at large, I wish Archbishop Harper and Mrs Harper everything that is best in retirement."
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