Added on 17/04/2007
The House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland, meeting today in Dublin, appointed the Reverend Canon Alan Abernethy as the new Bishop of Connor to succeed the Most Reverend Alan Harper, who was elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland in January 2007.
Announcing the new appointment, the Most Reverend Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh said:
"I warmly welcome the appointment of Canon Alan Abernethy to become chief pastor in the Diocese of Connor. That Diocese is very much in my heart, since I spent a considerable part of my ministry there. Canon Abernethy brings considerable gifts, which will greatly benefit the diocese when he begins his episcopal ministry. He has served as Central Director of Ordinands and has been very closely identified with the work, which the Church of Ireland is doing to reshape training for ministry. I wish Canon Abernethy and his wife, Liz, every blessing in this new development in his ministry."
Canon Abernethy is from Belfast. The Bishop-elect was ordained in 1981 and appointed to his present post as rector of Ballyholme Parish in 1990.
Canon Abernethy is married to Liz and they have a son Peter and daughter Ruth.
Biographic details for the Reverend Canon Alan Abernethy follow:
Revd Canon Alan Francis Abernethy
Born: 12th April 1957
Educated: Harding Memorial Primary School and Grosvenor High
B.A; (History and Political Science), Q.U.B; 1978
Dip.Theol. (1st class) T.C.D. 1981
B.D; Q.U.B. 1989
1981 Ordained deacon
1982 Ordained priest
1981-1984 Curate-Assistant, St. Elizabeth’s Dundonald
1984-1987 Curate-Assistant, Lecale Group of Parishes and minor canon of Down Cathedral
1984-1987 Officiating Chaplain R.A.F. Bishopscourt
1987-1990 Rector, St. John’s Helen’s Bay
1987-1990 Chaplain, Crawfordsburn Geriatric Hospital
1990- present Rector, St, Columbanus, Ballyholme
2004- present Church of Ireland Central Director of Ordinands
2005 Member of Church of Ireland Theological Inspection Team
1985-1990Church of Ireland Religious advisor Downtown Radio
2001-2004Church of Ireland Advisor Downtown Radio
Author of “Fulfilment and Frustration”, published by Columba Press, 2002
Themes and areas of interest
Canon Abernethy's ministry has focused on parish ministry and this interest has led him into a key role in the restructuring of ministry training in the Church of Ireland. The challenge of training curates and developing new models of ministry in the parish context, with particular emphasis on forms of ministry other than ordained is a constant challenge identified by Canon Abernethy in this area of work. Over the years Canon Abernethy has also enjoyed working within the world of broadcasting. At present he is working on another publication on the subject of doubt. He is also conducting research on the subject of clergy training.
Further information from:
Church of Ireland House
61-67 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2QH
Tel: +44 (0)28 9023 2909
Fax: +44 (0)28 9032 3554
Janet Maxwell (duty phone): +353 (0) 87 948 4412