Belfast Telegraph

Clergymen unite at Belfast flashpoint church

By Alf McCreary

A cross-community service has been held at a Belfast church which has become a parades flashpoint.

Senior clergy from the main Protestant churches took part in an inter-church service in St Patrick's Catholic Church in Donegall Street last night.

They were joined by worshippers from the cross-community group of clergy called In Joyful Hope, in a show of Christian unity.

By sharing a communion service together they aim to underline what the main denominations have in common.

The peaceful scenes at St Patrick's stood in sharp contrast to tense situations over the marching season, when loyalist bandsman played party tunes outside the church in contravention of Parades Commission rulings.

The address was given by Fr Michael Sheehan and, while leading Protestant clergy took part in the service, they did not take part in full communion.

In Joyful Hope secretary, Rev David Cooper, said: "The service is another way of showing how people on both sides can learn to trust one another."

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