Belfast Telegraph

Presbyterian cleric won't say if he'll join Easter show of unity

By Cate McCurry

A Presbyterian minister is remaining tightlipped over whether he plans to take part in a popular cross-community Easter procession.

Rev Michael Davidson has refused to say whether he will attend tomorrow's annual event, where the head of the Presbyterian Church Dr Frank Sellar is expected to speak.

The Walk of Witness, where a cross is carried, has become a popular way for representatives from the main Christian churches in the city and the public to mark Good Friday.

It is understood that Rev Davidson, who was installed as minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church in September 2015, did not attend last year.

The Walk of Witness takes place through the city centre and starts at 12.30pm.

In a statement, a Church spokesman said that attendance was a matter of "personal conscience", despite it being advertised on the Church's website.

Presbyterian Moderator Dr Sellar will be at the walk, which he said he was "looking forward to".

The Church spokesman added: "It is anticipated that Presbyterians from a number of our local congregations will be attending this annual Good Friday's event in Lisburn.

"This year the Moderator, Dr Frank Sellar, has been invited to address the inter-church gathering and he is looking forward to the opportunity to speak about the sufferings of Christ on the cross leading to cleansing, forgiveness and new life to all who place their hope and trust in Him.

"No doubt some will be more comfortable with participating than others, and that ultimately is a matter of personal conscience, which no doubt we would all want to respect."

When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, Rev Davidson said he had no comment to make.

He added: "I have plenty of Easter services and I am preparing for one at the moment."

One Railway Street Presbyterian Church member contacted the Belfast Telegraph to express their disappointment.

"We could have no representation there," they said.

It comes days after a Church of Ireland minister refused to take part in a similar event in Lambeg because of theological differences with the Catholic Church.

Rev Eddie Coulter said he held "deeply held theological disagreements" with Rome.

Belfast Telegraph


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