Belfast Telegraph

I am very humbled, says new Bishop of Derry and Raphoe

Election: Rev Andrew Forster
Election: Rev Andrew Forster

By David Young

The Venerable Andrew James Forster is to become the next Bishop of Derry and Raphoe.

He will succeed the Right Reverend Ken Good, who retired from the border-spanning Church of Ireland diocese at the end of May this year.

The prominent clergyman was elected by the Episcopal Electoral College for the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe at a meeting in St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh.

Rev Forster has been rector of Drumglass (Dungannon), in the Diocese of Armagh, since 2007, and archdeacon of Ardboe since 2015.

He was previously rector of Drumcliffe and archdeacon of Elphin and Ardagh, in the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

Rev Forster also served as Church of Ireland chaplain and dean of residence at Queen's University Belfast, and was formerly curate in Willowfield Parish Church, Belfast, in the Diocese of Down and Dromore.

Welcoming the election of Rev Forster to the bench of bishops, the Most Reverend Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, yesterday said: "We wish Andrew Forster every blessing on his election.

"I have known Andrew since he was eight years old.

"He has been a great colleague as an archdeacon in Armagh diocese - and I know that he will bring great gifts to his new responsibilities."

Speaking following his election, the bishop-elect said: "I am very much looking forward to beginning a new chapter in ministry and getting to know the diocese.

"I am very humbled by the fact that the Church has put its trust in me to take that role."

It is understood that following approval by the House of Bishops, Rev Forster will be consecrated as a bishop on a date yet to be determined.

Born in 1967, Rev Forster was ordained in 1992.

He is married to Heather and holds a BA (Honours) degree in modern history from Queen's University.

The couple have three children.

Rev Foster succeeds Bishop Ken Good, who has served in the Derry and Raphoe Diocese since 2002.

He announced his retirement in October 2018 and officially retired from the post in May.

Speaking at the Church of Ireland Synod earlier his year, Bishop Good warned that the education system in Northern Ireland has reached a point "beyond crisis".

Bishop Good told the assembled Church leaders that the education system was facing a number of pressures which could "destabilise the whole school system".

He was formerly chaplain and head of RE at Ashton Comprehensive School in Cork, rector of Dunganstown in Co Wicklow, rector of Shankill Parish in Lurgan and Archdeacon of Dromore.

Bishop Good's retirement will be spent between Moira and Fanad in Donegal.

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