Presbyterians and the Troubles

Next Thursday 03 December is an online conference ‘Considering Grace: Unpacking the Impact’ being run by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland – and Rev Tony Davidson (First Armagh) in particular.

It revolves around a recent book written by Gladys Ganiel and Jamie Yohanis called Considering Grace, Presbyterians and the Troubles (Merrion Press, 2019).

(I have a copy on my desk to review for a history journal)

There are so many untold stories about a dark 30 years of Irish history. So much grief and suffering confined to a small population – virtually no-one was untouched. This book brings some of them to light. They are stories that need to be told.

This is a clip from the PCI website. The conference was posponed from earlier in the year due to the Coronavirus.

The book includes

… over 100 stories from ministers, victims, members of the security forces, those affected by loyalist paramilitarism, emergency responders and health care workers, quiet peacemakers, politicians, those who left Presbyterianism and critical friends.

… We hope that the conference will help us to focus within the church not only on how we can promote reconciliation, while listening carefully to those who were most hurt through the Troubles, but also how we might train students, who will be ministering in congregations, which still bear the marks of pain and loss from that time.

… As we resume the conversation, we do so in the context of the forthcoming commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the state of Northern Ireland in 2021; changes brought about by Brexit on 1 January 2021; and unresolved issues around legacy. The past retains the power to poison present relationships. 

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