For three centuries following the Reformation the Church of Ireland was the 'Established Church' (the state Church) of the country. This status was removed by the Irish Church Act of 1869 as part of Prime Minister Gladstone's policy to meet the grievances of Irish nationalists and thereby win their support for the Union with Great Britain, while at the same time addressing the resentment of other Churches who objected to the privileged position enjoyed by an Established Church that could claim the loyalty of less than 12% of the population. To mark the 150th Anniversary of Disestablishment, a development of important constitutional significance, the publication of this present collection of new essays, introduced by The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, tells the story of major aspects of the life of the Church in the past half century - a period of remarkable societal, political and ecclesial change including, inter alia yet notably, the ordination of women to the three orders of ordained ministry within the Church of Ireland. The volume includes a diverse range of authorial voices from within the Church of Ireland 'fold' and without it, both clerical and lay; some essays are scholarly, yet in some cases conversational, while others take a historical perspective or are highly contextual and forward-looking.
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Date of Publication: 30/10/2019