The Derry cleric appointed the first ever woman bishop in the Anglican church in Britain and Ireland will continue to “build bridges and unite communities” wherever she goes.
This is the view of the city’s Mayor Martin Reilly who says Rev. Pat Storey, rector of St Augustine’s, will be greatly missed in Derry when she leaves to take up her new appointment as Bishop of Meath and Kildare.
The 53-year-old mother-of-two is the first woman to become a bishop in the four Anglican churches of Britain and Ireland.
Rev. Storey, who grew up in Belfast, said she was “excited and daunted” by the historic appointment.
“I have had an extraordinarily happy experience in St Augustine’s and in this wonderful city, which I will be sad to leave,” she said.
“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.”
Mayor Martin Reilly said Rev. Storey has played a “huge role” in working with all communities in Derry.
He added: “She is a fantastic lady and will make a great Bishop. The people of Derry will greatly miss her but we know she will keep in regular contact and will promote our city in her new ministry.”
Mrs Storey has been rector of St Augustine’s - located on Derry’s historic walls - since 2004.
The appointment of Mrs Storey was welcomed by Watch, a group that campaigns for the appointment of women bishops.
“We’re delighted and thrilled and we warmly congratulate her,” the Reverend Lindsay Southern, a spokeswoman for the group said.
Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Right. Rev. Ken Good, said he was delighted at the new appointment.
“In the diocese of Derry and Raphoe we know well how gifted Rev Pat Storey is and how effective her ministry is not only in a parish setting but also far beyond the local church,” he said. “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.
I am convinced that Pat will be an excellent bishop. Not only will the diocese of Meath and Kildare benefit greatly from her episcopal ministry but so, too, will the wider church and community.
The parish of St Augustine’s and the Diocese will greatly miss Pat and her husband, Rev Earl Storey. Yet we are really delighted with this news and assure them of our prayers for all that lies ahead.”