United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Death of The Rt Revd Samuel Poyntz

The Right Revd Samuel Poyntz, formerly Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (1978–87) and Bishop of Connor (1987–95) died peacefully on Saturday 18th February.

The Rt Revd Samuel Poyntz
The Rt Revd Samuel Poyntz

There will be a private family funeral this week followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, next Saturday, 25th February, at 11.30am.

On hearing of Bishop Poyntz’s passing, The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said:

‘It is with real sadness that I learned of the death of Bishop Samuel Poyntz over the weekend. I have known him since my own childhood in Dublin, but most closely from my time as a rector in Cork when he was bishop of the Diocese. I found him to be a decisive, practical and vigorous Christian leader but also someone who was deeply caring and supportive of his clergy, in short a great bishop.

‘I also saw him to be a person of huge courage and fortitude, virtues which he demonstrated to the full during his time as Bishop of Connor during very difficult times in Northern Ireland, but these were also qualities which he used throughout his long and fulfilled life for the good of the life and witness of the entire Church of Ireland. 

‘I hold the Poyntz family in my prayers at this time of loss, and trust that they will know God’s comfort in their bereavement.’

The Rt Revd Samuel Greenfield Poyntz was born in 1926 and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1948; MA 1951; BD 1953; PhD 1960). He was ordained deacon in 1950; priest in 1951 and consecrated as a bishop in 1978. Dr Poyntz also received an Honorary DLitt from the University of Ulster in 1995.

Bishop Poyntz began his ministry as a curate in Dublin & Glendalough Dioceses, first in St George & Thomas (1950–52), then Bray (1952–55) and St Michan with St Paul (1955–9), followed by incumbencies at St Stephen’s (1959–67); St Ann’s (1967–70) and St Ann’s with St Stephen’s (1970–78). He was Archdeacon of Dublin from 1974 to 1978. Following his consecration, he served as Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross Dioceses from 1978 to 1987, from where he was translated to serve as Bishop of Connor from 1987 to his retirement in 1995, having served almost forty–five years in the ordained ministry.

Amongst his varied contributions to the life of the Church, in 1969 Dr Poyntz proposed a private member’s motion which led to the formation of the Bishops’ Appeal for World Development of the Church of Ireland. From 1971 he was Convenor of the Bishops’ Appeal Fund until becoming Archdeacon of Dublin. He was Vice–Chair of the British Council of Churches from 1986 to 1990.

Bishop Poyntz led an Irish Delegation to the first European Ecumenical Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland and subsequently made ecumenical visits to East and West Germany, Austria and France. He led an Irish Inter–Church Delegation to the USSR in 1987 and a British Council of Churches Delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories in 1989.

In 1989 Bishop Poyntz ordained the first two women to be raised to the priesthood in the Church of Ireland and in 1992 he instituted the first woman as an Incumbent in the Church of Ireland.

Bishop Poyntz is survived by Noreen, his wife of 65 years, and his children Jennifer, Timothy and Stephanie.