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Work together, Presbyterian Moderator Sellar urges politicians in Northern Ireland

By Ed Carty

A leading religious figure has called on Northern Ireland's politicians to work in partnership.

Right Reverend Dr Frank Sellar, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, said the current Stormont crisis is a time when people must be clear about the values they want to base their society and institutions on.

"For both to function well, there must be integrity, a commitment to openness, generosity of spirit and co-operation for the common good," he said.

"These values - and personal and collective demonstrations of goodwill and empathy - are also important and are at the heart of what it means to love our neighbour, as our Lord Jesus commanded." Dr Sellar said it was also important to show personal and collective demonstrations of goodwill and empathy.

"No institution is perfect and as imperfect people in an imperfect world, we all fail at times to embrace values that promote respect, encourage and build others up," he said. "With an election on the horizon and what are likely to be very difficult negotiations that follow, I call on all involved to show a willingness to listen carefully to each other, to honour and value one another and to work constructively in partnership.

"The drawing of too many 'lines in the sand' will only thwart progress on resolving the pressing issues that we face as a society. Northern Ireland's political institutions are the fruit of difficult and committed negotiation and I give thanks for all those who have worked so hard over the past 18 years and beyond. We have come a long way, but still have far to go.

"It will be my prayer in the next number of days and weeks that our political leaders will receive abundant grace and wisdom, so that a vision for the common good will emerge."

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