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In Memoriam: The Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish

7 July 2021 Fellows

It is with great sadness that the College announces the death of the Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish, Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall.

Bishop Irish was the daughter of American scholar, industrialist and philanthropist, Obert Clark ‘O.C.’ Tanner, who founded the Tanner Lectures on Human Values in 1978.

Bishop Irish began her higher education at Stanford University, before transferring to the University of Michigan. She graduated with high honours in Philosophy, and as a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honours Society. She later received an M.Litt (Master of Letters) degree in Moral Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) degree, cum laude from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Bishop Irish was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, where she served congregations in the dioceses of Washington, Virginia, and Michigan. She was appointed archdeacon in the Diocese of Michigan in 1986, and later served on the staff of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and the Washington National Cathedral. Consecrated and seated as Bishop of Utah in 1996, she had oversight of 22 congregations and other ministry programmes until her retirement.

In addition to her episcopal duties, Bishop Irish chaired the Board of Directors of the O.C. Tanner Co. in Salt Lake City. Bishop Irish served on the Standing Committee on Ecumenical Relations for the National Episcopal Church and the Advisory Board of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, as well as the boards of directors of the Tanner Lectures on Human Values and the Nature Conservancy of Utah. She is an Honorary Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford.

In 2010, Bishop Irish retired from her Episcopal Church position and continued her Utah ties beyond this time. She was made an Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall in 2018.