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Churches plan new peace initiative with EU help

Press Releases

Added on 20/12/2012

A new peace project supported by the largest Christian denominations in Ireland is currently recruiting senior staff with the aim of publicly launching the new initiative in the springtime of 2013.

Entitled the “Irish Churches Peace Project” the programme is a partnership involving the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, the Church of Ireland and the Irish Council of Churches. It will be funded through the EU’s PEACE III Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Additional funding is being provided by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) and by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLD) of the Irish Government.

Aimed at promoting good relations, reconciliation and peace work at both strategic and grassroots levels across Northern Ireland and in the border counties, the £1.3m project has placed ads seeking to appoint a director and two support staff for a temporary period up to June 2015. It is also expected that six field staff will be recruited early in 2013.

Since 2008 discussions have been taking place between the various denominations as to what the peace process in Ireland requires to ensure its continued success and what unique contribution the churches could make to that. What emerged was an inter–church project with three main aims. The first of these aims is to promote sustained and well facilitated cross–community dialogue particularly focusing on the contentious issues that need to be addressed in order to develop good relations and promote reconciliation. Secondly, to support local inter–church/cross–community groups in their development of new grass rootsinitiatives that will contribute to the lasting peace. The final aim of the programme is to facilitate a process by which the main denominations speak more frequently in the public sphere with a united voice on social and political issues, and through that to model positive cross–community cooperation and undermine the vestiges of sectarian politics.

With its programme of work agreed and funding in place the “Irish Churches Peace Project” has now moved to recruit senior staff with a view to making appointments in January 2013. The closing date for applications is Monday 7 January 2013 and more information can be found at:

www.presbyterianireland.org/opportunity

For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu

ISSUED BY STEPHEN LYNAS, PRESBYTERIAN INFORMATION SERVICES Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Assembly Buildings, Fisherwick Place, Belfast. BT1 6DW Office: 028 9032 2284 Mobile: 078 0226 4354 Out of Office: 028 2827 7325 Email: slynas@presbyterianireland.org,  www.presbyterianireland.org