Belfast Telegraph

Rev 'Elvis' helps ease suspicious minds on Northern Ireland peace line

JOANNE FLEMING

The King of Rock 'n' Roll has visited both sides of the peace line to urge people: "Don't be cruel."

Rev Andy Kelso fits in being a professional Elvis impersonator around his day job as a Church of England minister.

Accompanied by his teddy bear on Saturday, he walked from the Falls to the Shankill and later staged a charity concert in a bid to promote peace.

After performing some of his greatest hits, posing for photos in front of the Bobby Sands mural, and stopping for a chat with workers in the local café, 'Elvis' made his way through the barrier that separates both communities, and on to lower Shankill. He then performed a charity concert in the City Life Centre in aid of the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

Rev Kelso, who lives in England, was invited to Belfast by the Townsend Street Presbyterian Church, just off the Shankill Road.

"I just feel that Belfast wants and needs some joy," Rev Kelso said. "It's had so much that's not joy, hasn't it? And so many peace initiatives have failed, but the people are so friendly. It's only a few people in life that spoil everything.

"I just think people want a reason to celebrate so it was a thrill for me, and humbling to walk this peace line."

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