Remember the needy, say Northern Ireland clerics
People across Northern Ireland have been urged to remember those in need during harsh economic times in Christmas messages from church leaders.
Presbyterian Moderator the Rt Rev Dr Norman Hamilton said people should try to be “good Samaritans” at Christmas and every day.
In his Christmas message he added: “There is more to living than simply caring for ourselves and our own interests. Look for and willingly accept the opportunities to be the good Samaritan.”
Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Alan Harper referred to the economic downturn and said that people needed to replace selfishness and greed with generosity and thrift.
He said: “We also need a new vision of society as one extended family, single community of persons committed to one another by the obligation of love and respect.
“To love means to give and receive that which can neither be bought nor sold, nor earned, nor stolen.”
Methodist president the Rev Paul Kingston said that this would be a difficult Christmas for many people.
“Christmas will not be a happy time because of the current economic crisis, but thanks to the many agencies seeking to offer help, their pain will be eased a little,” he said.
Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady also referred to the economic pressures and the need for people to give each other an “extraordinary helping hand” over this Christmas period.
The cardinal also underlined the need to recall in days of darkness “the brighter moments in life and human experience” and described the rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile as “perhaps the most inspiring human story of the year”.