Bishop Kevin Doran congratulates Bishop Alan McGuckian on his appointment as Bishop of Down and Connor

02 Feb 2024

The appointment of a new Bishop is always a time of nervous anticipation for who are called, both the faithful and the clergy, together, to share in his mission of proclaiming the Gospel, building up the body of Christ and reaching out to those on the margins.  Happily, Bishop Alan McGuckian is already well known in the Diocese of Down and Connor having grown up there, and having exercised some of his recent priestly ministry in the diocese.  In a very real sense, he is coming home once again to pastor his own people and to live among them.

I have had the privilege of working with Bishop Alan on the Council for Justice and Peace, and on the Theological Committee of the Bishops’ Conference.  He is a very insightful, humble and hard-working Bishop.  He knows what he believes and, at the same time, is very open to growth of understanding.  I have been enormously encouraged by his approach to many of the key challenges facing the Church, not least of which is the need for us to walk together in the footsteps of Jesus in a way which is truthful, respectful and co-responsible.

As most priests will well understand, moving from one diocese to another, like changing parishes, is far more than simply moving house or changing jobs.  Bishop Alan’s generosity in accepting this new mission can surely be an inspiration to all of us.  I wish Bishop Alan every blessing and good health in his new ministry.


  • Bishop Kevin Doran is Bishop of Elphin