A former Archdeacon of Dalriada has been appointed the new Bishop of the United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.
The announcement that the Very Revd Patrick W Rooke was to succeed the Rt Rev Dr Richard Henderson, who recently moved to the Diocese of Carlisle in the Church of England, was made by the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland on April 13.
A native of Dublin, the Dean spent much of his ministry in Connor Diocese, beginning in 1978 when he was made Deacon in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. From 1978 until 1981 he was Curate Assistant of Mossley Parish, and from 1981-1983 he was Curate Assistant of Ballywillan Parish, Portrush. From 1983-1988 he was Incumbent of Craigs, Dunaghy & Killagan Parishes, before moving to the Diocese of Armagh where he was Incumbent of Ballymore Parish, Tandragee. He returned to Connor in 1994 to become Incumbent of Agherton Parish, Portstewart. In 2005 he was appointed Archdeacon of Dalriada, and he moved back to Armagh in 2006 as Dean of Armagh and Keeper of Armagh Public Library.
Announcing the appointment, the Most Rev Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said the appointment gave him great personal pleasure. He said: “ I very much look forward to Dean Rooke taking leadership of the Church of Ireland people in the geographically very large diocese of the West. He brings many gifts of leadership, imagination and spirituality to the task.
“He has made a notable contribution in his time as Dean of Armagh and the people of Tuam, Killala & Achonry can look forward to receiving as their bishop a person of great pastoral sensitivity and effectiveness. As a member of the House of Bishops I know he will bring very many insights to enhance the consultations of the bishops and of the wider Church.”
Archbishop Harper went on: “I particularly note his long engagement with the Hard Gospel project and its emphasis upon inclusivity and the fostering of good relations amongst people of goodwill and I know that this interest will be sustained and developed in his new diocese.”
Dean Rooke said he was delighted to accept the appointment and looked forward to leading the clergy and people of Tuam, Killala and Achonry at this important time for the Dioceses.
He knows the West well. His mother’s family came from County Mayo and his sister and other family members live in the Diocese. ‘Having spent the past thirty-three years in Northern Ireland, returning to the Republic will be different,’ he said. ‘However, I have found throughout my ministry that the experience gained growing up in a rectory family in Dublin has prepared me for most things.’
Dean Rooke is married to Alison and they have three grown-up children, Emily, Nicholas and Susanna. Details of the new bishop’s consecration will follow in due course.