New forums series launched by Ballycastle churches

“Insights from a Journey” is the title chosen by the former Dean of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Rev Dr Houston McKelvey for the launch of a new series of Community Forums on Monday 25th February in Ballycastle.

Organised by Ballycastle Church Action on the overall theme of ‘Faith in the Public Square’ a number of personalities, well-known in church and civic circles, will address important issues of significance in church and society over coming weeks.

Dr McKelvey began his Ministry in a loyalist housing estate, then served for many years as Church of Ireland Education Officer before becoming Dean of Belfast. He and the late Monsignor Tom Toner, Administrator of St Peter’s Pro-Cathedral developed an effective partnership in city-centre ministry. As the ‘Black Santa’ he and his colleagues annually raised huge amounts of money for local charities.

His address will range over issues of loyalism, from the Ulster Workers’ Council strike of 1974 to the contemporary flags dispute; employment and the economy; the role of the Churches in education; dialogue with politicians and witnessing and working for peace.

Venue will be the Thyme & Co Coffee Shop, Ann Street Ballycastle, at 7.30 p.m. Rev Dr Gordon Gray, Convener of BCA’s Peace and Reconciliation Committee states: “In choosing this convenient venue, generously put at our disposal, we are aiming to make these events as genuinely ‘open’ as possible. Both church-goers and those of any or no particular faith will be welcome to engage in conversation about subjects of everyday concern and general interest”.

This new series is supported by Moyle District Council Good Relations. Forthcoming topics will include Faith, Crime and Punishment; The Church and the Media; and Faith and Contemporary Music among other topics. Further information can be obtained from Dr Gordon Gray, tel 2076 9722 or email or from the local Ballycastle clergy.