Ray was appointed the first Church of Ireland Archivist at the Representative Church Body Library in 1981, and following the retirement of the Librarian three years later, became the first Librarian and Archivist in 1984, a position which he would hold for the next three and a half decades.
During that period the library’s printed and archival collections grew considerably particularly after he secured agreement with the Public Records Office of Ireland (now the National Archives) that the RCB Library was the appropriate place of custody for Church of Ireland parish registers. Over 1,100 parish record collections, 1000s of manuscript collections, the papers of diocesan, cathedral as well as the central RCB and other administrative records of the wider Church have been secured, stored and catalogued during his tenure.
The content of this material and its value for research has been heavily promoted by Ray’s establishment of an exemplary publication scheme since the early 1990s, and latterly the development of online catalogues. As a result the library is visited by researchers from throughout Ireland and overseas.
During Ray’s tenure, the library has played a crucial role for those engaged in ministerial training in the adjacent Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and he remains widely respected by several generations of former ordinands who have come through its training process since the 1980s.
In addition to his role as Librarian and Archivist, Ray has made an important contribution to other areas of the Church, especially in the area of publishing and communications. For many years he has edited the Church of Ireland notes, published weekly in The Irish Times (a role which he will continue) and as Secretary to the Literature Committee which manages Church of Ireland Publishing. In Dublin and Glendalough, he is a member of the Diocesan Communications Committee.
Paying tribute to his loyal service and hard work for the Representative Church Body and his contribution to so many aspects of church life, the Chief Officer, David Ritchie, presented Ray with a gift from his colleagues – a painting of South William Street, Dublin, by the artist Peter Pearson. "