Harper new CoI primate

The Church of Ireland has elected the Right Reverend Alan Harper as Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland to succeed the retiring Robin EamesWilliam Crawley’s, light-hearted, notes on him say

Alan Harper (62) is also known for his liberal approach to some social and theological matters, and although he has lived in Northern Ireland for 40 years his Englishness may stand against him. He is said to be highly regarded by Archbishop Eames, and acted as media spokesman for the bishops recently when they challenged the UK government over its “oppressive” approach to controversial legislation in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Times’ take, while tipping another candidate, was [subs req]

The Bishop of Connor Rt Rev Alan Harper (62) is a native of Staffordshire in England but has lived in Northern Ireland for more than 40 years. He is a geography graduate from Leeds University and afterwards worked in archaeology and planning. He studied at TCD and was ordained in 1979. He began his ministry as a deacon at Ballywillan in Connor diocese in 1978. Elected Bishop of Connor in December 2001 and consecrated in March 2002 at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

The Irish Times also suggested there was a concern about his age

Another contender is Bishop Alan Harper, the hard-working and widely-respected bishop of Connor diocese. He will be 63 this year and, though Archbishop Eames is 69, it is felt the House of Bishops may opt for a younger man. On the other hand the cognoscenti believe Bishop Ken Goode (54) of Derry and Raphoe, and Bishop Michael Jackson (50) of Clogher, may be too young.

Although, obviously not that much concern.

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