26 Apr 2013
A group of senior West Yorkshire church leaders has returned from a joint pilgrimage to Corrymeela, County Antrim, having learned of the Northern Ireland experience of peacemaking and reconciliation.
The group included the Vicar–General of the Catholic Diocese of Leeds, two Anglican bishops, a Lutheran bishop, two Methodist Chairs of District, the United Reformed Church Moderator for Yorkshire and a pastor representing African–Caribbean churches.
Corrymeela is a Christian community helping to build relationships between different groups, peoples and churches. It has been closely associated with peace–building for over forty years, including the period of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. It continues to work for lasting reconciliation between different communities.
The visit included engagement with churches in the most polarised areas of Belfast, as well as meeting with the Revd. Harold Good, a Methodist Minister who oversaw the decommissioning of IRA weapons.
The leader of the group was the Rt. Revd. Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract, and chair of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC). He said, “Not only has this visit strengthened relations between Christian leaders, it will also help the churches in West Yorkshire to engage more constructively with people of other faiths.” Bishop Robinson added, “I would recommend Corrymeela to church groups across Britain”.
The Revd. Dr. Inderjit Bhogal, sometime President of the Methodist Conference and the current Leader of Corrymeela, said, “I was delighted to welcome West Yorkshire Church Leaders to Corrymeela. Such visits are a great encouragement to us.
Corrymeela is keen to strengthen links with Churches in Britain. I want to see more Church Members of all Denominations becoming Friends and supporters of Corrymeela. Continue to pray for our work of reconciliation, and come and see us.”For more details, contact either the Revd. Dr. Clive Barrett, 0113 2618053, firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Revd. Dr. Inderjit Bhogal, email@example.com.