Neil L. Irons - A Message from Bishop Irons

Neil L. Irons - A Message from Bishop Irons

Previous Bishops


Message from Bishop Neil L. Irons


Dear Christian Friends:

Having been your bishop for one month now, I think it is past time for me to be in touch with you. As you know by his letter to you on July 7, Bishop McLee is on Leave of Absence because of health issues. The President of the College of Bishops, Bishop Marcus Matthews, contacted me in late June about my availability to serve among you as bishop.

Obviously I said, “Yes,” to this inquiry. In our polity Bishop McLee is no longer your bishop during his leave. I have been returned to an active status from retirement, which means that during the six months I am with you all of the responsibilities, privileges and “headaches” end on my desk. In short—I have a tendency to use too many words to get to the point—I am the bishop of the New York Area until the end of December.

I believe that doing the work of the bishop is none other than doing the work Christ gives to the Church. I function best in a community of ministry, for only together are we a part of the body of Christ.

To the best of my ability I will work to get acquainted with as many of you as possible. What extraordinary ministry you are doing in and around the greatest city on earth. For this, I thank you.

Because I commute to the Conference Center in White Plains each week from my home in Pennsylvania it is not usually possible to accept invitations to be with you on weekends. My days in the office are normally Tuesday through Thursday. You can reach me through emails via the bishop’s office.

Personally, I enjoy travel, laughter, good company, and not taking myself too seriously.  My wife, Susan Thomas—yes, we have different last names for when we married we were too old and set in our ways to change last names—is an active real estate agent and a very faithful member of the Camp Hill United Methodist Church.  When I am not serving as an interim pastor—I have done this four times—or serving as your bishop, the two of us sing in our church choir of about 45 voices. We have three grandchildren and one on the way.

If you are in the Conference Center and my door is open drop by and say hello. The company of those called to be saints is always welcome.


Bishop Neil L. Irons