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Orange Order marks Reformation anniversary with Portadown parade.

The Orange Order will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a parade and religous service in Portadown on Saturday, May 8.

Several thousand members  – along with representatives from the Apprentice Boys, Association of Loyal Orange Women of Ireland, Independent Orange Institution, Grand Royal Arch Purple Chapter and Junior Association – are epxected to attend the event.

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the castle door in Wittenberg in Germany – an act widely seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, which spread throughout Europe.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said: “We hope this event will be an impressive expression of our Institution’s Christian ethos as we come together with members of the other Loyal Orders to collectively convey our faith, and remember and celebrate one of the most momentous events in history five centuries ago.”

The main parade is scheduled to leave Edenderry at 5.15pm and will proceed via Bridge Street, High Street, Market Street, Church Street, Armagh Road and Brownstown Road to the rally venue at Shamrock Park.

The parade will momentarily pause at the Bann Bridge as a wreath is laid to commemorate those Protestants killed in the 1641 Portadown massacre.

The return parade is scheduled to leave Shamrock Park at 8.30pm, proceeding to Edenderry.

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