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Richard Lionel Clarke (born 25 June 1949) is an Irish Anglican bishop and author. Since 2012, he has been the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. As such, he is the senior hierarch of the Church of Ireland.

Richard Clarke
Archbishop of Armagh
Primate of All Ireland
The Most Reverend Richard Clarke, Anglican Archbishop of Armagh.jpg
ChurchChurch of Ireland
Elected15 December 2012
In office2012 – present
PredecessorAlan Harper
Consecration14 September 1996
by Walton Empey
Personal details
Birth nameRichard Lionel Clarke
Born (1949-06-25) 25 June 1949 (age 70)
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
SpouseLinda (d. 2009)
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Alma mater


Early life and educationEdit

Clarke was born on 25 June 1949 in Dublin, Ireland. He was educated at Wesley College, a fee-paying independent school in Dublin. He attended Trinity College, Dublin (M.A., Ph.D.) and King's College London (B.D.) where he studied history and theology.[1]

Ordained ministryEdit

Clarke was ordained a deacon in 1975 and priest in 1976, serving as a curate in Holywood, County Down for two years from 1975-77 and again as a curate at St Bartholomew's with Christ Church, Leeson Park, Dublin from 1977-79, before he serving as Dean of Residence at Trinity College, Dublin for five years.[1] Clarke travelled thence to Bandon, County Cork, where he served as rector until 1993 when he was appointed Dean of Cork.[1]

Episcopal ministryEdit

Clarke was elected and consecrated to the bishopric of Meath and Kildare in 1996.[2]

In 2012, he was elected, in succession to Alan Harper, to be the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. His translation to Armagh took effect on 15 December 2012, on which date he also was enthroned at St Patrick's Cathedral.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

He has two children and 3 grandchildren, as of 2017. His wife, Linda, died in 2009.[4]

Selected worksEdit

Clarke is the author of And Is It True? (2000), The Unharmonious Blacksmith (2002) and A Whisper of God (2006).[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Bishop Richard Clarke profile". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  2. ^ Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's Ltd. 2009. ISBN 1-870520-51-3.
  3. ^ Church of Ireland: Clarke elected as Archbishop,; accessed 27 July 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archbishop". Diocese of Armagh. 6 Feb 2018. Retrieved 6 Feb 2018.
Church of Ireland titles
Preceded by
Maurice Carey
Dean of Cork
Succeeded by
Michael Jackson
Preceded by
Walton Empey
Bishop of Meath and Kildare
Succeeded by
Pat Storey
Preceded by
Alan Harper
Archbishop of Armagh
Order of precedence in Northern Ireland
Preceded by
High sheriffs of counties (see list here)
(during term of office and
within bounds of counties)
Church of Ireland
Archbishop of Armagh
and Primate of All Ireland
Succeeded by
Eamon Martin