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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

New Archdeacon of Cashel, Ferns, Waterford and Lismore.


The Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory the Right Reverend Adrian Wilkinson has announced that, following the resignation of the Venerable Bob Gray from his role as archdeacon on health grounds, he has appointed the Revd Alec Purser as the next Archdeacon of Cashel, Ferns, Waterford and Lismore. Archdeacons are appointed by the bishop, and their role is to assist the bishop in his or her pastoral care of the diocese, as well as in general oversight and administration. The Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory has two archdeacons and Archdeacon Purser will be working with Archdeacon Mark Hayden who is Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin.

Bishop Wilkinson said: ‘I am delighted that Alec Purser has accepted my invitation to take on this additional responsibility. He is a highly regarded priest who has experience of both the non-stipendiary and the full-time stipendiary ministry. The bishop and archdeacons work closely together, and I know Alec will bring many valuable gifts, insights, and abilities to his new role’.

Archdeacon Purser was ordained in 2010 into the Non-Stipendiary Ministry and was based in Abbeyleix. In 2014 he moved to Stradbally Union of Parishes and transferred to full time ministry in 2020 and is now priest-in-charge of Stradbally

Union and Portlaoise Union with Ballyfin. Coming to ministry, he has journeyed the less direct route, spending his earlier life as farmer, greenkeeper and landscaper and still has that love for everything to do with farming. Alec is married to Gillian and has two children, Emma and Sam.

Archdeacon Purser said: ‘I am truly honoured by Bishop Wilkinson to be asked to take on this role as Archdeacon, remembering those whose footsteps I follow. I look forward to this new role and the next chapter in ministry.’

While Archdeacon Purser’s appointment takes immediate effect, he will be licensed and installed at a special service after Easter. The details of this will be published shortly.