The late Bishop Gordon McMullan. Courtesy of Church of Ireland Press Office.

Bishop Larry Duffy extends sympathy on the death of Rt Rev Gordon McMullan, former Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher.

It is with great regret that I learned of the death of the Right Reverend Gordon McMullan, the former Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher. During his 6 years in this Diocese from 1980 until 1986 he served with a deep sense of the centrality of compassion and pastoral outreach to people. That pastoral concern also included members of other Christian Churches. Throughout his ministry he developed friendships with many people across the community and these contributed to peace building and were greatly valued long after his departure from Clogher. 

I extend to his family and to Bishop Ian Ellis and the entire Church of Ireland community throughout Clogher and beyond my sincere sympathy and prayers at this time. 

+Larry Duffy

Bishop of Clogher 


 Notes for Editors:

  1. Bishop Larry Duffy is the Bishop of Clogher. He was ordained Bishop in February 2019.
  2. Biography: (source; Church of Ireland Press Office, 22 October 2023).

The Rt Revd Dr Gordon McMullan (born 1934) grew up in the parish of Willowfield, in East Belfast, and worked in the aircraft manufacturing and petroleum industries prior to his ordination in 1962.  He initially served as Curate in St Patrick’s, Ballymacarrett (1962-1967), and subsequently as the Church of Ireland’s Central Advisor on Christian Stewardship (1967-1970).  His ministry continued in the Diocese of Down and Dromore as Curate in St Columba’s, Knock (1970-1971), and Bishop’s Curate of St Brendan’s, Sydenham (1971-1976), before he returned to Knock as Rector (1976-1980), during which time he was also Archdeacon of Down (1979-1980). He was elected as Bishop of Clogher in June 1980, and was consecrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, in September of that year.  Bishop McMullan was subsequently elected as Bishop of Down and Dromore in March 1986.  He was deeply involved in cross-community bridge-building and mutual understanding, pastoral care, and active concern for the unemployed and people living in areas of social and economic disadvantage.  He retired in 1997. 

He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen, in 2006 and is survived by their two sons, Philip and Stephen.

Bishop McMullan was a keen footballer in his youth and one of the founding members of Willowfield Parish Football Club.  He attended Belfast Technical High School and Belfast College of Technology before studying at Queen’s University Belfast from where he graduated with a BSc in economics in 1961.  He then studied for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.  Bishop McMullan was considered an authority on the history of the white-collar trade union movement in Ireland, and held three doctorates – a PhD in Irish economic and social history (Queen’s, 1971), a ThD in the interaction of doctrine, politics and economics in the Church of Ireland in the mid-19th century (Irish School of Ecumenics, 1987), and an honorary D.Min from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1995.

Bishop McMullan also completed an MPhil in peace studies, through Trinity College Dublin, in 1990.  He was an accomplished author on Christian discipleship whose publications included A Cross and Beyond, We are Called …, Everyday Discipleship, Growing Together in Prayer, and reflections on the gospels of Mark and Luke. 

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