Clergy Appointments - 13th December 2020

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev’d John McDowell, today announced the following senior appointments in the Diocese:


Canon Shane Forster to be Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh and Keeper of the Robinson Library.
It is anticipated that Canon Forster’s Installation will be on Sunday 14th February 2021.

The Rev’d Elizabeth Cairns to be Archdeacon of Ardboe, with immediate effect.
Also to be installed as a member of the Cathedral body on 14th February 2021.

On his appointment as Dean, Canon Forster will relinquish the Armagh Diocesan Prebendal stall in the St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. He will be succeeded by
the Rev’d Malcolm Kingston, rector of St Mark’s, Armagh, as prebendary of Yagoe in the National Cathedral.

Commenting on the appointments the Archbishop said:

I am delighted that Canon Forster has accepted my invitation to take up this senior position within the Cathedral and Diocese. Canon Forster has served his entire ministry in the Diocese of Armagh and has acted in the senior role of Chaplain/Executive Chaplain to four Archbishops. His faith formation took place in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast and he is familiar with the Irish Cathedral tradition. As Keeper of the Armagh Robinson Library the new Dean will have an important part to play in the development of the Library as it adjusts to post-Covid life. I look forward to having Shane, Kathleen, Timothy and Emma as neighbours here on the Hill of Armagh.

Archdeacon Elizabeth Cairns, who was brought up in the parish of Milltown, in the Diocese has over thirty years of ministerial experience, first as a Church Armagh Evangelist and following ordination, as a priest in the Diocese. She has assisted in and had the care of parishes in the Diocese of Connor, the Diocese of Down and Dromore as well as here in Armagh. The Archdeacon is well known for her pastoral sensitivity and her cheerful common sense. I look forward to working with her as she takes up this important role as an executive officer of the Archbishop and a senior priest in the Diocese.

The Rev’d Malcolm Kingston has also served his entire ministry in the Diocese of Armagh and occupies a number of important offices within the Diocese and the city. It is a mark of the respect in which he is held by his clergy colleagues that he has been elected recently as one of the Clerical Honorary Secretaries of the General Synod. It is entirely fitting that he should succeed Canon Forster as the Armagh Diocesan member on the Chapter of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

Canon Shane Forster commented:

Canon Forster said, “I am deeply humbled and honoured to have been invited by the Archbishop to be the next
Dean of Armagh. It is a great responsibility, and I am acutely aware of the historical significance of Armagh as the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, the place where St Patrick built his first ‘Great Stone Church’.

click here for Shane's comment in full.


Rev'd Elizabeth Cairns commented:

I am deeply honoured to accept the Archbishop’s invitation to take up the role of the Archdeacon of Ardboe.
To say that it came as a total surprise is an understatement, but one that I am extremely humbled to be offered.

click here for Elizabeth's comment in full.


Rev'd Malcolm Kingston commented:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Archbishop for his very kind invitation to represent our Diocese on the Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know the Dean of St Patrick’s through serving together on the Church of Ireland Standing Committee and I look forward to meeting colleagues in ministry at Chapter meetings as we contribute to the witness and mission of the Cathedral.  I also would like to thank my family, as well as the staff team and parishioners of St Mark’s, Armagh, for their continued support and encouragement as together we seek to serve amidst times of distinct challenge and yet opportunity for Christ’s Kingdom.