When Canon Kenneth Kearon is consecrated Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, in the Church of Ireland, some of the consecrators will be Methodist.
That’s because the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland now are in full communion.
And tomorrow proves the point when, in Dublin, Methodist leaders will take part in the consecration of a new Church of Ireland Bishop.
For the first time in the history of the two churches, Methodists with join with Anglicans ‘in the laying on of hands’ during the consecration of the Rev Canon Kenneth Arthur Kearon as Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe.
During this historic service in Christ Church Cathedral the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Rev Peter Murray, The Rev Donald Kerr, former President and General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland and former President and Co-Chair of the Covenant Council, the Rev Winston Graham will join with other Church of Ireland Bishops in the laying on of hands on the newly elected Bishop.
This is the first time that participation by Methodist leaders has taken place. It has been made possible by the decision of both the General Synod and the Methodist Conference allowing for the interchangeability of ministry.
As a result of this Methodist Presidents are now regarded as Episcopal Ministers and as such can participate in this service. This participation also marks the start of full interchangeably of ministry between both Churches.
The service which commences at 2.30 pm tomorrow will be led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Reverend Dr Michael Jackson, and the preacher will be The Most Reverend Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.
Kearon is secretary general of the Anglican Communion, a position he has held since 2005. Born in 1953, Kearon is a native of Dublin. Educated at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), he served his curacy in All Saints Raheny and St John’s Coolock, before becoming dean of residence at TCD in 1984, a position he held until 1990. He was rector of the Parish of Tullow (Dublin) from 1991 to 1999 after which he became director of the Irish School of Ecumenics (1999-2005). Kearon is a canon of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin and an honorary provincial canon of Canterbury Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral London and St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem.
You can watch it here: http://christchurchcathedral.ie/worship/live-webcast/