Belfast Telegraph

An idyllic church shattered by an unholy row

By Claire Williamson

As the sun waned and the cool of the night set in, temperatures were still running high as crisis talks got under way in a rural church.

The usual calm and still of the idyllic Knocknamuckley Church of Ireland, located outside Portadown, was interrupted as car-loads of frustrated churchgoers gathered to vent their views on their controversial minister.

The signs of division in the Co Armagh church were clearly visible, with clusters of people, young and old, scattered in separate little groups.

One parishioner pointed the Belfast Telegraph towards the noticeboard outside the church, which they said used to be full but now stood empty. There were even objections to the meeting being held in the church itself. Emotion was etched on the faces of those both entering and exiting the meetings, with the largest crowd arriving for the final meeting.

Many in attendance were lifelong members. One 87-year-old reflected on the years of tradition he enjoyed within the parish, but his grievance is now so great that he is attending another church.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph