Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Marathon: Church rector seeks quick decision on changes

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon .
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Left to right female race. Judith Lonnen in third, Catrina Jennings in first and Ciara Toner in second are presented with the prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Left to right male race. Freddie Siddock in third, Gideon Kipsang in first and Steve Scullion in second are presented with the prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Noel McKee takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Jackie Reid takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Stewart Barbour takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Kelly Weston takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Sara Neill takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Julieann Tsang takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Karen Fullerton takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Jessica Byrne takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Kimberley Loynes takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Runners take part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Dawn Ross takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Leanne Culbert takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Carol Mullan takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Heather Agnew takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th September 2017 Anthony McKenna takes part in the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Runners cross the finish line Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Runners cross the finish line Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Runners cross the finish line Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Runners cross the finish line Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Runners cross the finish line Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Catrina Jennings, winner of the female race, pictured with her prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Left to right wheelchair race. Karl Dohert in second and Jim Corbett in first. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Left to right female race. Judith Lonnen in third, Catrina Jennings in first and Ciara Toner in second are presented with the prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Gideon Kipsang in first place for the male race pictured with his prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Left to right male race. Freddie Siddock in third, Gideon Kipsang in first and Steve Scullion in second are presented with the prizes. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Steve Scullion pictured crossing the finish line and comes second in the male race. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Gideon Kipsang pictured crossing the finish line and wins the male race. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 15th September 2017 Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon takes places across the city with over 3,500 runners taking part. Gideon Kipsang pictured crossing the finish line and wins the male race. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

A church rector has urged Belfast City Council to settle a dispute over proposed changes to the Belfast Marathon after a decision was deferred on Wednesday night.

The popular event has been held on the May Day bank holiday for the last 36 years, but proposals to change the route and move it to a Sunday have caused concern among churches and traders.

UUP councillor Jeff Dudgeon said the council would "reserve its position until the Marathon company's consultation" with stakeholders is complete.

The Rev Kevin Graham, Rector of St Bartholomews in Stranmillis, expressed mixed feelings on the proposed changes, which will take effect from 2019, and said he sympathised with those on all sides of the debate.

"There is potential for difficulties and there is real threat to church services, but we can be flexible with our worship times," This is a great opportunity for us as a church to engage with the community in a positive way," he said.

But the Church of Ireland minister and former marathon runner called on organisers and the council to reach agreement soon, adding: "This can't keep being debated - it's not fair."

Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown said "there is no perfect route" for traders but vowed to try and please everyone when he meets event officials next week.

UUP councillor Jeff Dudgeon said the council would
UUP councillor Jeff Dudgeon said the council would "reserve its position until the Marathon company's consultation" with stakeholders is complete

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