Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland ( " Church of Ireland ", Irish: na hÉireann Eaglais, pronunciation: / nə he ː r ʲ agləʃ ən / ) is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It has about 390,000 believers - so much less than the Catholic Church in Ireland - of which around two-thirds live in Northern Ireland.


The church has two church provinces.

  • The first is the Anglican Church Province of Armagh, which is also the seat of the Anglican Primate of All Ireland, with the dioceses: Diocese of Armagh
  • Diocese of Clogher ( Tyrone )
  • Diocese of Derry and Raphoe ( Counties Londonderry and Donegal)
  • Diocese of Down and Dromore ( Counties Down and Tyrone )
  • Diocese of Connor
  • Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh
  • Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry ( Counties Galway and Mayo )
  • The second is the Anglican Church Province of Dublin, the seat of the Anglican Primate of Ireland with the dioceses Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough ( Cathedral Christ Church Cathedral )
  • Diocese of Meath and Kildare
  • Diocese of Cashel and Ossory ( Cathedral: St Canice 's Cathedral in Kilkenny)
  • Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross
  • Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe

Your highest authority is the General Synod, which maintains the Representative Church Body (RCB ) as a permanent body. This includes the 12 bishops of this Church, 12 elected by the clergy members, 24 elected by the diocesan lay representatives and 12 members appointed by the RCB.


In 1536 King Henry VIII of England broke with the papacy and therefore with the Catholic Church. Since Henry was crowned himself in 1541 as King of Ireland, Ireland was from this time by personal union formally to England. As a sister church of the newly formed Church of England was established under his successors the Church of Ireland. In the following decades, all churches and cathedrals in Ireland went into their possession. In addition, a large number of monasteries was razed. From now begins, political, social and cultural dominance of the Protestants in Ireland, the Church of Ireland benefited to a great extent. In particular, after the adoption of the penal law ( Penal Laws ) against the Catholic Church and the Protestant Free Churches in the 1690s, the Church of Ireland was almost the only church in Ireland who work and build without restrictions could. Since these penal laws were also in England and Wales, their positions corresponded to about the Church of England there. As a result of the Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland, there was also temporarily the unification of the two state churches.

As an indirect consequence of the Catholic Emancipation until then outstanding position of the Church of Ireland was softened. This was taken out with the Irish Church Act 1869 from the budget of the Church of England, the law came into force on January 1, 1871. At the same time it lost its official status as the state church. Was abolished in the current financing of the church by donating tithes, which affected all the citizens of Ireland, it had formerly paid tithes to the Anglican Church of Ireland Catholics and members of the Free Churches. The Irish Church sent from there no more members to the House of Lords. The division took place in 1922, the island of Ireland in the Republic of Ireland and further constitutionally linked with Britain Northern Ireland had on the Church of Ireland as an organization has no direct influence; she is still responsible for all of Ireland.

Anglican Church of Ireland today

The Church of Ireland is a member of the Porvoo Communion and has agreed with these churches full communion. As one of the first Anglican churches it allowed the ordination of women in 1991. Due to their centuries- long dominant position in Ireland, the largest and most imposing, built before 1800, churches and cathedrals are in many Irish towns today the Church of Ireland, while the Catholic Church in the 19th century, built new buildings. Because of the relatively small proportion of Anglicans in the total population, these are actually rare to well filled large churches during services. In addition, an entrance fee must be required of tourists to contribute to the maintenance costs.

Beginning of October 2010 announced the Primate of Ireland, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough John Neill, his resignation to the end of January 2011. New Archbishop of Dublin was Michael Jackson.

In September 2013 were with Pat Storey, the new head of the Diocese of Meath and Kildare, the first woman elected in the history of the Church of Ireland in office of a bishop.