The Most Reverend
|Archbishop of Armagh |
Primate of All Ireland
|Church||Church of Ireland|
|Elected||10 January 2007|
|Ordination||1977 (Deacon) |
|Consecration||18 March 2002|
by Robin Eames
|Birth name||Alan Edwin Thomas Harper|
|Born||20 March 1944|
Tamworth, Staffordshire, England, UK
|Children||Catherine, Richard, Emma, and Anne|
|Previous post(s)||Bishop of Connor (2002-2007)|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds|
Education and employment
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2017)
Born in Tamworth, Staffordshire on 20 March 1944, Harper was educated at Moorgate County Primary School, Tamworth, Staffordshire, The Grammar School of Elizabeth, Queen of England in Tamworth. He studied geography at Leeds University.
Following graduation (BA), he worked as University Map Curator and Departmental Librarian in the Department of Geography. He moved to Northern Ireland in July 1966 when he was appointed a member of the Archaeological Survey of Northern Ireland. He married in 1967; he and his wife Helen have four children; Catherine, Richard and twins Emma and Anne.
In 1974 he returned to England as Principal Assistant Planning Officer with the Staffordshire County Council. In 1980 he was appointed a member of the Historic Monuments Council for Northern Ireland and was Chairman from 1988 to 1995. In 1996 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Conservation in Northern Ireland.
Ordination and ministry
Pursuing a vocation to the ministry, Harper entered the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin in 1975 and was ordained a deacon in 1978 at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. A year later, he became a priest. His first curacy was served in the Parish of Ballywillan (Portrush) in the Diocese of Connor.
He later served as vicar of Moville, followed by a tenure as rector of Christ Church, Londonderry from 1982 to 1986. Returning to Connor diocese, he became rector of Malone from 1986 to 2002 and served as Archdeacon of Connor and Precentor of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, from 1996 to 2002.
Bishop and archbishop
On 17 December 2001, Harper was elected Bishop of Connor by the Episcopal Electoral College. He was consecrated on 18 March 2002 at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, and enthroned in Christ Church Cathedral, Lisburn, on 25 April 2002. On 10 January 2007, the 11 bishops of the Church of Ireland elected him the 104th Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, in succession to Archbishop Robin Eames. In June 2012 he announced his intention to retire with effect from the end of September.
Views on sexuality
Since issues of sexuality (particularly homosexuality) are the topic of endless debate and simmering acrimony in the Anglican Communion at present, Harper's election to the primacy immediately drew media interest to his views on these questions; previous interviews were given new scrutiny. Several commentators concluded that he is personally liberal but willing to be bound by more traditional views as long as the Church of Ireland has not as a whole signaled a desire for change.
- "Anglican Communion:The Church of Ireland-Armagh". 20 March 2003. Archived from the original on 20 March 2003.
- "Anglican Communion Primates: A Picture Gallery (part 1)". Anglicanprayer.wordpress.com. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Debrett's People of Today, London, 2008; ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
- "Archbishop". Armagh.anglican.org. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Who's Who 2008, London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8, 2008
- Crockford's Clerical Directory2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
- History of Anglican Diocese of Connor, Anglican.org; accessed 27 July 2017.
- "Diocese of Armagh". Armagh.anglican.org. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- "Saint Patrick's Cathedral Armagh". 9 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- "Alan Harper: the leading compromise candidate". 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
- Crawley, William (10 January 2007). "BBC - Will & Testament: Englishman to lead Irish Church". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
|Church of Ireland titles|
| Bishop of Connor
| Archbishop of Armagh