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Service to mark slavery abolition

By Brendan McDaid

The Dean of Derry, the Rev William Morton, is to lead a service to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.

The interdenominational service is to be held at St Columb's Cathedral on Sunday at 4pm.

The service will also mark the 200th anniversary of the death of slave trader turned abolition advocate John Newton.

It is believed Newtown worshipped at the local cathedral during his time in Londonderry in the mid-18th century after he became a devout Christian.

The event is one of a series being held in the city during December.

This week Mayor Drew Thompson launched an exhibition at the Harbour Museum, which shows how Ulstermen and women played a distinguished part in the campaign to abolish slavery, as well as the part played by those from Ulster who owned slaves and plantation.

The exhibition is entitled Hidden Connections - Ulster and Slavery 1807-2007 and will be on display until January.

The service is being organised by Dr Morton and staff at St Columb's Cathedral in association with Derry City Council.

Margaret Edwards, education officer with the Museum and Heritage Service, said of the connection between John Newton and Derry: "It was recorded that he visited Derry in 1748 whilst his ship, the Greyhound, was being repaired in Lough Swilly.

"He later became a Church of England clergyman and is famous for writing a number of hymns and sermons, his most famous being Amazing Grace. He died on December 21, 1807, almost 200 years ago."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph