The Derry rector who has made history by becoming the first ever female Church of Ireland bishop has been described as a person of “great warmth, intelligence and spiritual depth” by those who appointed her.
Reverend Pat Storey, currently minister at St Augustine’s Church on Derry’s Walls, was announced as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare on Friday in a groundbreaking move for the Anglican church here.
Announcing the appointment The Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said: “Having known Pat Storey since she was an undergraduate and I was Chaplain at Trinity College, Dublin, I very much welcome her as a new bishop. She is a person of great warmth, intelligence and spiritual depth and I am certain that her ministry in the Diocese of Meath and Kildare and the wider Church will be a blessing to many. We will remember her and her family in our prayers.”
Speaking as the news was made public on Friday, Rev. Storey said she was both excited and daunted at the new appointment.
She said: “I have had an extraordinarily happy experience in St Augustine’s and in this wonderful city which I will be sad to leave. However, I count it an enormous privilege to begin a new phase of my ministry with the people of Meath and Kildare, and I look forward to working with the team of clergy who are already there. I would sincerely ask for your prayers for myself and my family, who are the best family in the world.”
Rev. Storey is married to Rev. Earl Storey, an ordained Church of Ireland Minister. They have two grown up children, Carolyn and Luke.
Welcoming the appointment, Father Michael Canny, spokesperson for the Derry Diocese said: “I like many others, publically express my congratulations and best good wishes to Rev Pat Storey of St Augustine’s here in the city on her appointment as bishop of Meath and Kildare.
“I have known and worked with Pat for a number of years and have always found her, while, very committed to her own faith and church also a person always seeking opportunities to work with other faiths and none. She has always worked hard for the better good of this city and its people. Her appointment, while a great gain for the people of her new diocese, is a great loss to the people of this city. Rev Pat, in my opinion, brings to her new position a great variety of talents and gifts which means she is very well equipped to lead the Diocese of Meath and Kildare in these challenging times for all faiths.”
The Right Reverend Ken Good, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe also welcomed the appointment stating: “I warmly welcome the Rev Pat Storey’s appointment as Bishop of Meath and Kildare. It is great news indeed.
“In the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe we know well how gifted the Rev Pat Storey is and how effective her ministry is not only in a parish setting but also far beyond the local church. Her warmth, her deep personal faith and her natural ability to relate to people have enabled her to make a significant impact throughout the city, the diocese and the wider community.
Derry’s Mayor Councillor Martin Reilly last night joined those congratulating the Derry based rector on news of her new appointment,
“I want to wish Rev Storey well in her new role,” he said.
“I have met her several times during my year as Mayor and this is a great achievement. I’ve always found Rev. Storey to be a most warm, engaging and thoughtful person who is very well thought of by everyone in the community and locally and we are all very proud of her.”