LORD Mayor of Armagh City and District Cllr Sharon Haughey has today hosted a civic reception to mark the retirement of Armagh Archbishop and Primate of All Ireland Alan Harper, Church of Ireland.
The Civic Reception was held in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh which appropriately overlooks the Church of Ireland Cathedral.
The reception was attended by representatives across the community, civic, political, church and sporting organisations.
Speaking at the reception, Lord Mayor Haughey said” “As Lord Mayor of Armagh City and District it is my pleasure to welcome you all here to the Market Place Theatre today to celebrate the life and work of The Most Revd Alan Harper, as he retires as Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
“Hailing from Staffordshire in England, Archbishop Harper has become a central part of life and worship in Armagh. His leadership within the Church of Ireland has been tremendous.
“He has brought comfort to many within his congregation in times of heartache and tragedy; he has developed relations with other Church and Community Leaders working for the greater good, his preachings have inspired young and old alike.
“For the people of Armagh and indeed Ireland, he has been a preacher, a teacher, a leader and a friend.
“Today, as we gather together, it’s very telling the impact Alan Harper has had on life in Armagh, as we have representatives in attendance from across community, civic, political, church and sporting organisations. This is a man who has inspired many and respected by all.
“I take this opportunity, to wish Alan and Helen, every happiness and good health in Alan’s retirement years.”
Lord Mayor Sharon Haughey presented Archbishop Alan Harper with a beautiful painting by local artist Jackie Connolly, appropriately named, ‘City of Saint and Scholars’.
Making the presentation she said: “To mark the wonderful achievements of a wonderful man, it is a great pleasure for me on behalf of Armagh City and District Council, to present Archbishop Harper with a gift made in Armagh and of Armagh, so that he can continue to enjoy a little bit of Armagh within his retirement years.”