Two Church of Ireland Bishops To Retire
Amalgamation of Limerick and Tuam
Diocese of Tumerick?
The Church of Ireland Bishops of Limerick and Tuam have decided to retire the same day—leaving room for the amalgamation of the two dioceses.
The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Bishop of Tuam, Killala, & Achonry and The Rt Revd Dr Kenneth Kearon, Bishop of Limerick & Killaloe announced on 18 June, they will both retire on All Hallow’s Eve, 31 October 2021. The two dioceses will merge at some future point and a bishop elected to oversee the amalgamated work.
According to the most recent Church of Ireland Directory, there are no more than twenty-five stipendiary clergy between the two dioceses.
The Diocese of Tuam, Killala, and Achonry (often abbreviated, TKA) has six stipendiary clergy and a number of Ordained Local Ministers (OLMs). It serves the people of County Mayo and Galway. Rooke was elected Bishop of the diocese in 2011. Before the last reorganisation of the Church of Ireland in the 19th century, the Diocese of Tuam was an archbishopric with its cathedral in Tuam Town.
According to the announcement released by the Church of Ireland: “Bishop Rooke was ordained by the Bishop of Connor in 1978, Bishop Rooke served curacies in Mossley Parish, Newtownabbey, and in Ballywillan Parish, Portrush. His first incumbency was in Craigs Group of Parishes before transferring to the Diocese of Armagh for six years as Rector of Ballymore, Tandragee. He returned to the Diocese of Connor in 1994 and the Parish of Agherton, Portstewart, before being appointed Dean of Armagh in 2006. Five years later, he moved to the West on his appointment as Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry”.
The Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe has congregations in counties Clare, Tipperary, Limerick, and Kerry. It has a larger Anglican population than Tuam and has nineteen stipendiary clergy. “Bishop Kearon was ordained in 1981 and served his curacy in the Parish of All Saints’ Raheny and St John’s Coolock in Dublin. He was Dean of Residence at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1984 to 1991 when he became Rector of Tullow in Dublin. He was appointed Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics in 1999 and Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in 2005, and was elected Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in 2014”. His late father-in-law was Bishop Samuel Poyntz, who before his retirement, had been Bishop of Cork from 1978-1987 and Connor from 1987-1995.
The new, as yet un-named, diocese will be geographically the largest within the Church of Ireland. It will cover most of the Atlantic Coast of the island. One Church of Ireland bishop, playing on the names of the two dioceses, suggested the new diocese be named, the Diocese of Tumerick.