On Wednesday 20 November 2019, the House of Bishops confirmed Archdeacon David McClay as Bishop–designate of the United Dioceses of Down and Dromore. He was elected by the Episcopal College on Monday 4 November.

Bishop-designate, Ven David McClay
Bishop-designate, Ven David McClay

The Venerable David McClay is Archdeacon of Down and Rector of Willowfield Parish Church, in East Belfast.  He was previously Rector of Kilkeel and has served his whole ordained ministry to date in the Diocese of Down and Dromore.  

Following the election, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said: “I wish to congratulate David McClay on his election as Bishop of Down and Dromore.  An experienced parish clergyperson and archdeacon, he has a strong reputation as someone with a heart for the dispossessed and lonely, and I would wish him and his family God’s blessing and every fulfilment in his future ministry.”

Upon his election the Ven McClay said: “I would like to ask people to pray that I would always be a godly leader, that I would be one who would be faithful to Christ, and that I will always give my best in the role of a bishop in God’s Church, enabling the Church of Ireland in Down and Dromore and in Ireland to thrive.”

The consecration of the Bishop–designate is planned for late January in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

The Bishop–designate

The Venerable David McClay (born 1959) was ordained in 1987 and his whole ordained ministry to date has been served in the Diocese of Down and Dromore.  

He was  Curate in Magheralin with Dollingstown (1987–1990) and subsequently Rector of Kilkeel (1990–2001). David has been Rector of Willowfield Parish Church, Belfast, since 2001 and Archdeacon of Down since 2013. He has also been Curate–in–Charge of St Clement’s (Templemore Avenue) since 2015, having previously been Priest–in–Charge of Mount Merrion, Ravenhill (2007–2011). he is the leader of New Wine Ireland.

David is married to Hilary and they have three children and one grandchild.