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Picture of the Week: Warning, contains splash photography

By Staff Reporter

Tensions literally spilled over at St Matthias' Church in Knocknamuckley last weekend when Belfast Telegraph photographer Kevin Scott was doused with water by a minister who is providing pastoral care for the congregation since the controversial departure of the previous minister.

The church, which is located in a scenic rural spot just outside Portadown, became embroiled in an unholy row when the congregation became divided over the modern style adopted by its previous minister, the Rev Alan Kilpatrick.

But tempers flared after Belfast Telegraph reporter Una Brankin and Kevin turned up to talk the interim minister, the Rev Tom Conway.

After giving a courteous interview to this paper, the Rev Conway appeared to be very upset and threw water at our photographer - first from a bucket, then a bottle and a cup. (He has since apologised)

We were covering both the first service at St Matthias' Church since the Rev Conway's temporary posting and the Rev Kilpatrick's new ministry at a local sports club.

Our pictures showed that the Rev Conway, while initially happy to give an interview and be photographed, then felt aggrieved at this paper's representatives, taking out his wrath on our young photographer.

The trouble at St Matthias' Church escalated as the congregation divided in reaction to the teaching adopted by the Rev Kilpatrick, who is associated with the Bethel Church of Supernatural Ministries, and the split became the focus of media attention.

The Press exists to report the facts and inform its readership about people's lives and how this impacts on a wider level in society.

Faith issues are something many people in Northern Ireland have strong opinions on and the Press plays a role in reflecting these feelings and putting them in context.

HELEN CARSON

Belfast Telegraph

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