Irish Council of Churches. Irish Inter-Church Meeting

Irish Inter–Church Committee congratulates Bishop John McDowell on his election as Archbishop of Armagh

Nicola Brady





Bishop John McDowell

The Co–Chairs of the Irish Inter–Church Meeting have released the following statement to congratulate Bishop John McDowell on his election as Archbishop of Armagh.

Bishop Brendan Leahy and Rev Brian Anderson stated:

“During his time as ICC President and Co–Chair of the Irish Inter–Church Meeting from 2016–2018 Bishop John led many important inter–church initiatives across the island of Ireland. His thoughtful contributions on the pastoral challenges arising from issues such as Brexit, commemorations and the unfinished work of reconciliation have shaped and informed our inter–church dialogue and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role. Bishop John will bring many gifts to the leadership of the Archdiocese of Armagh and we wish him every blessing for the future.”

Notes for Editors


  1. Established in 1973, the Irish Inter–Church Meeting is the formal structure for dialogue between the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Irish Council of Churches. Its membership reflects the major Christian traditions on the island of Ireland — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and independent.
  2. The current Co–Chairs of the Irish Inter–Church Meeting are Bishop Brendan Leahy, Catholic Bishop of Limerick, and Rev Brian Anderson, President of the Irish Council of Churches.
  3. Brief biography of Bishop John McDowell
    The Rt Revd Francis John McDowell grew up in Belfast and pursued a career in business prior to training for ordination.  He was ordained in 1996 and initially served as Curate of Antrim, in the Diocese of Connor (1996–1999).  He was subsequently Rector of Ballyrashane, in the same diocese (1999–2002), and Rector of St Mark’s, Dundela, in the Diocese of Down and Dromore (2002–2011), during which time he was also an Honorary Secretary of the General Synod (2008–2011).  He has also served as the Church of Ireland’s contact person for the Porvoo Communion (2007–2013) – a communion of Anglican and Lutheran Churches in Europe which share a common life in mission and service.
    He was elected Bishop of Clogher in May 2011 and consecrated as bishop in St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen, in September of that year.  Bishop McDowell holds a BA (Hons) in History from Queen’s University Belfast (1978), a Diploma in Business Studies from the London School of Economics (1984), and a BTh in Theology and Biblical Studies from Trinity College Dublin (1996).  He is married to Mary, who teaches in Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, and they have one daughter, Dorothy, a student at Oxford University.
  4. For media enquiries please contact the ICC General Secretary, Dr Nicola Brady. Tel. +44 788 088 2597.