from St Anne's

Bishop of Connor Announces His Retirement

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, has today announced that he is to retire on health grounds. Bishop Alan said that, following medical advice, he had taken this decision with ‘a very heavy heart and spirit.’

Breaking the news to the diocese of which he has been bishop for more than 12 years, the 62-year-old said it had been ‘an amazing privilege and joy’ to have served Connor as its bishop.

Bishop Alan was diagnosed with prostate cancer during a sabbatical in 2018. His treatment began early in November, and the bishop has taken part in a clinical trial, knowing this may help others in the future. He announced his retirement on the day he had his final session of treatment.

In a statement published on the Diocese of Connor website, Bishop Alan discusses his treatment, and thanks the staff of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.

Bishop Alan will retire on December 31 this year. “I am conscious that yet again the responsibility for the diocese falls to the three archdeacons and I am very grateful for their willingness to serve the diocese in this way,” he said.

“At this stage, my aim is to be in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Christmas Eve and in Lisburn Cathedral on Christmas Day. This will allow me to fulfil my ministry as bishop once more before I retire.”