Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at service to mark 150 years since Disestablishment


The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, was the guest preacher at a special service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on Saturday afternoon to mark the 150th anniversary of the Church of Ireland’s Disestablishment.

The Choral Evensong was attended by the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, several Bishops from across the Church of Ireland, and representatives from its 12 dioceses including clergy and lay people from Clogher Diocese.

The worship was led by the cathedral choir and the congregation was welcomed by the Dean of St Patrick’s, the Very Revd Dr William Morton.

In the course of his address, the Archbishop said: ‘The Church of Ireland has always been and continues to be a profound gift not only to Ireland but to the Church universal, including the wider Anglican Communion.’

He concluded with a quote from St Patrick about his converts to Christianity on the island of Ireland: ‘They have become the people of the Lord and are called children of God.’

The service marked a national programme of events to mark the 150th anniversary of Disestablishment - entitled Free to shape our future - and was followed on Saturday evening by a discussion on Anglo/Irish and Church State relations, involving Archbishop Welby, Dr Mary McAleese, the economist David McWilliams, and the historian Dr Ida Milne.

Further information on the National Programme is available at