Belfast Telegraph

Bishop Miller thanks those who prayed for him during cancer battle

By Noel McAdam

A Church of Ireland bishop has spoken for the first time about his battle with prostate cancer.

Bishop Harold Miller said it was his first personal experience of being "upheld by prayer" during illness.

The 67-year-old said: "It has taken a little bit out of me."

The Bishop of Down and Dromore made clear that the prognosis is good and his energy levels are returning.

His struggle over recent months had not been widely known and he had made no public comment.

But in a statement yesterday, the bishop, who was baptised in a Methodist church, said: "A very big thank you to all who have prayed for me and sent good wishes during the time of my treatment for prostate cancer.

"I am very glad to say that the treatment is completed and the prognosis is very good indeed. It has taken a little bit out of me and I get more tired than would have been the case, but energy levels are returning gradually."

The bishop, whose interests include music, travel, wine-making and phillumeny - the hobby of collecting different match-related items such as matchboxes and matchbox labels, said people in the diocese and beyond had been "so kind and supportive, without ever being invasive".

"I have often heard others say how they were upheld by prayer during illness, but this is my first personal experience," he added.

"I thank God for every remembrance of you and for the privilege of being bishop of Down and Dromore."

Bishop Miller - whose middle name is Creeth - has also said he does a little bit of gardening and takes exercise in a local gym to keep fit.

He was baptised a Methodist and grew up in the Shore Road area of north Belfast before studying English and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.

This is where he met his wife Liz (nee Harper) - the mother of their four children.

He was baptised in Jennymount in Belfast, where the father of Archbishop Robin Eames had been minister.

It is believed to be the only Methodist church to have provided a Church of Ireland archbishop and bishop.

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