Belfast Telegraph

Complex faith: Rev Professor Laurence Kirkpatrick

'I'm ashamed of the Presbyterian Church... we have adopted a model of clerical control, while professing ourselves democratic, we've veered into an overly simplistic evangelicalism that doesn't resonate with ordinary people' 

The Rev Professor Laurence Kirkpatrick (62) was appointed Professor of Church History at Union Theological College in Belfast in 1996. He taught within the Institute of Theology at Queen's University, which recently announced that it is severing its links with the college.

Taking time: Rev Elizabeth Hughes is enjoying retirement

'Over the years, I have had all sorts of criticism for being a woman in ordained ministry ... mostly from colleagues, sadly' 

The Rev Dr Elizabeth Hughes (66), who has retired as minister of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey, is living back in Portadown where she spent part of her childhood and teenage years. Born in Dunfermline, she spent her early years in Norfolk and Suffolk. Her husband, Brian, is also a retired Presbyterian minister. They have two grown-up daughters, Sarah and Bethan.

Showing respect: Denis Bradley sees people of other faiths exactly as members of his own

Alf McCreary: 'I left the priesthood to get married but never stopped participating in Church life' 

Denis Bradley (73) was born in Co Donegal. He was educated at St Columb's College in Londonderry, followed by six years at the Irish College in Rome. He served as a priest in the Bogside in Derry from 1970 to 1980. After leaving the priesthood, he worked as a counsellor, establishing two shelters and treatment centres for alcohol and drug addiction in the city. He is now married, with three grown-up children.

Alf McCreary

‘As a child a voice in my head told me to say goodbye to dad ... I told him I loved him and he died during the night’ 

Rosamond Bennett is married to Karl, a part-time primary school teacher and a musician. They have three children, Louis (18), Judy (17) and 13-year-old Reuben and live in Whitehead. Rosamond, who turned 50 this year but jokes she prefers 42, became CEO of Christian Aid Ireland earlier this year after 22 years in the corporate world. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

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