The Rt Rev Ken Clarke, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, has been appointed as the new full–time Mission Director of SAMS Ireland (South American Mission Society).
He will take up the post later this year and continue as bishop of his diocese, where he is in his 12th year, until the autumn.
Bishop Clarke said: “I have been immensely privileged to serve in this diocese. I have found many wonderful people who love their Church. We have a great team of clergy, Diocesan staff and hard–working volunteers. With my wife Helen, I have experienced love and loyalty in Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.”
He said he believed that God had called him to become more involved in SAMS Ireland and world mission.
“I am keen to develop and deepen links with Anglicans in South America and in other parts of the Anglican Communion. The development of leaders and the facilitation of missional opportunities will be amongst my priorities,” Bishop Clarke said. “My links with SAMS Ireland stretch over most of my 40 years in ordained ministry and I have served as Chairperson since 1993. This new post will be an immense but exciting challenge.”
Bishop Clarke will succeed Denis Johnston at SAMS Ireland. Mr Johnston is retiring after 24 years as the General Secretary of the Society.
Bishop Clarke has served on the SAMS Ireland Council since the 1970s, and he and his wife were SAMS missionaries in Chile from 1979 to 1981.