Church of Ireland bishop was man of 'huge courage'
A service of thanksgiving at Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral will today remember the life of former Bishop of Connor Samuel Poyntz.
The respected Church of Ireland cleric served in Belfast from 1987 to 1995 and was prominent in reconciliation efforts in the city, attending funerals of loyalist murder victims and leading ecumenical initiatives.
He also ordained the first two women to become priests in the Church of Ireland in a service at St Anne's Cathedral in 1990, predicting at the time that the Catholic Church would one day follow suit.
The current Bishop of Connor, Alan Abernethy, said he is fondly remembered for "his energy, his leadership and his sense of fun".
“He led this diocese through some of the difficult years of the Troubles with great courage and wisdom. Our prayers are with the Poyntz family at this time of loss.”
The Rt Revd Samuel Greenfield Poyntz was born in 1926 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, before being ordained in 1951 and beginning his ministry in the Dublin and Glendalough dioceses.
He was consecrated as a bishop in 1978 and served in Cork, Cloyne and Ross until 1987 before his move to Belfast.
Dr Poyntz led an Irish delegation to the first European Ecumenical Conference in Switzerland and made ecumenical visits to East and West Germany, Austria and France.
He also led an Irish inter-Church delegation to the USSR in 1987 and British Council of Churches delegation to Israel two years later.
He retired in 1995, when he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.
Bishop Poyntz died on February 18 and is survived by Noreen, his wife of 65 years, and his children Jennifer, Timothy and Stephanie.