Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

A question of faith

Richard Clarke Archbishop of Armagh

Richard Clarke Archbishop of Armagh – Church of Ireland, Armagh (His first General Synod as Primate starts in Armagh next Thursday)

Your idea of Heaven?

A place of ultimate beauty, love and truth. It must be that because it is the place of God.

Eternity, would it not be boring?

It will not be like anything we have ever known on earth. How could it be boring if it is the place of the full presence of God?

Could God be a woman?

God, we believe, is beyond gender, so we would be foolish to think that God is a man even if we use the language of fatherhood.

Your finest moment of spiritual enlightenment?

Realising fully that behind all the reality we see and experience around us is a greater and ever-present reality, a God of total love. Obviously this is the message of the Scriptures, but Plato helped a little bit as well in the philosophical and conceptual aspects!

The person alive today you most admire and why?

I admire people for so many different reasons and, to give an honest answer, I don't have one candidate!

If you had just one question to ask God face to face, what would it be?

Why must there be pain?

Your favourite book/music/film?

If I had to restrict myself – I love the poetry of WH Auden, the music of Mozart, and the film Amadeus combines Mozart with some very searching questions about grace. (I would also like a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer as well.)

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