Archdeacon Stephen Forde is new Dean of Belfast

Stephen Forde, newly appointed dean of St Annes Cathedral in Belfast
Stephen Forde, newly appointed dean of St Annes Cathedral in Belfast

Archdeacon Stephen Forde has been announced as the new Dean of Belfast.

He replaces the Very Rev John Mann who has moved to Salisbury diocese.

Archdeacon Forde, 55, was born in Banbridge and grew up in Rathfriland, Crossgar and later Belfast where he was educated at Campbell College.

He was ordained a deacon in 1986 and a priest in 1987 having attended the Church of Ireland Theological College.

While very much a man of the cloth, his primary degree is in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh.

Archdeacon Forde’s first role was as curate assistant at St Mary’s Parish, Crumlin Road, Belfast, Diocese of Connor in 1986 and he went on to become chaplain at Queen’s University, Belfast.

In 1999 he returned to the Diocese of Connor as rector of the parishes of Larne and Inver with Glynn and Raloo.

In Larne, Archdeacon Forde saw through the completion of three major building projects, with the total restoration and refurbishment of Glynn Parish Church (1999-2000), Raloo Parish Church (2005), and a significant extension to Glynn Church in 2012.

He is married to Fiona, a staff nurse at Antrim Hospital, and the couple have two daughters Rachel and Amy, and a son, Michael.

Archdeacon Forde said his appointment was “a huge challenge” and one he is “incredibly excited about taking on”.