Alan Buchanan (bishop)

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The Most Reverend
Alan Buchanan
Archbishop of Dublin
Personal details
Born (1905-02-28)28 February 1905
Died 4 February 1984(1984-02-04) (aged 78)

Alan Alexander Buchanan (28 February 1905[1] – 4 February 1984) was an Anglican bishop in the second half of the 20th century.[2]
Educated at Masonic Boys School and Trinity College, Dublin, he was ordained in 1931.[3] He served as a chaplain with military forces during the Second World War, notably parachuting into Arnhem in 1944 and being captured by the Germans. In the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek there is a serviceman's prayer card displayed which is signed by Alan Buchanan. He was with the Church of Ireland Mission in Belfast until 1937, after which he held incumbencies at St Cedma Inver and St Mary, Belfast and St Comgall, Bangor. He was Bishop of Clogher from 1958 to 1969, when he became Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. He resigned in 1977 and died on 4 February 1984.[4]

Among other things, Archbishop Buchanan was known as an advocate for women's ministry.

In the early 1970s, he had spoken to the Diocesan Synod of Dublin: "Is it right to limits the possibility of ordination to one half of the Church? Our House of Bishops has recently echoed the view of Lambeth that there is no theological reason against the ordination of women. The Church in Canda has already decided in favour...the Church of Ireland should at least declare its mind on the subject." He personally invited and trained the first five women to be commissioned Lay Readers in the Church of Ireland in 1975, including Daphne Wormell and Patricia Hastings-Hardy. When the group chose a maroon liturgical gown, which looks similar to the bishops' red, he told them, "If they like to think I am commissioning five lady bishops, let them think it!"[5]

His daughter, Desiree Stedman, was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada. She was accepted into training in 1982[6] before the Church of Ireland voted to ordain women as deacons in 1984, and as priests and bishops in 1990. Buchanan missed these developments, having died in February 1984.


  1. ^ Who Was Who 1897-2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  2. ^ Handbook of British Chronology by Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I.: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996 ISBN 0-521-56350-X, 9780521563505
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1975-76 Lambeth, Church House, 1975 ISBN 0-19-200008-X
  4. ^ The Times, Tuesday, Feb 21, 1984; pg. 14; Issue 61763; col G Most Rev A. A. Buchanan
  5. ^ Wormell, Daphne; Turner, Julia (2013). With Dignity and Grace. Dublin: Hinds. pp. 158–162. ISBN 978-1-909442-01-6. 
  6. ^ Dunne, Jacqui (28 September 1982). "Irishwoman goes for priesthood". Sunday Independent. 
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Richard Tyner
Bishop of Clogher
Succeeded by
Richard Hanson
Preceded by
George Simms
Archbishop of Dublin
Succeeded by
Henry McAdoo