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Good Friday service crosses divisions

Posted on: April 11, 2001 6:20 PM
Related Categories: Ireland

Two former loyalist prisoners, a former Republican prisoner and the father of a young man murdered by terrorists are to take part in the Three Hour Good Friday Devotion in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast on 13 April 2001 from 12 noon to 3pm.

The theme of the service is "The Cross and Reconciliation" conducted by Brother David Jardine SSF.

Brother Jardine said: "Our guest speakers will talk about how becoming reconciled to God not only gave them a wonderful new purpose in life but also inspired them to seek reconciliation in relationships with other people, some of whom they would have seen as enemies over many years.

"Everyone is very welcome to come and go throughout the three hours as it suits them."

The speakers are David 'Packie' Hamilton and James Tate, former Loyalist prisoners; Tom Kelly, a. former Republican prisoner and Michael McGoldrick, whose son was murdered in 1996.

David 'Packie' Hamilton was a long term prisoner. He now lives in Manchester with his wife and three children. He was converted to Christianity in Crumlin Road prison in January 1980 and has continued to be involved in full-time Christian work ever since. He said that when he joined the UVF he felt he was embracing a cause worth dying for, so when his autobiography was published in 1998 he called it. "A Cause Worth Living For".

James Tate, a former loyalist long-term prisoner and Tom Kelly, a former republican prisoner who did 10 years in jail, were sworn enemies but now often talk together publicly about their faith.

Michael McGoldrick suffered deeply when his son was murdered in 1996, but he was given the grace to forgive in the most difficult of circumstances. That act of forgiveness has brought a new vitality to Michael's faith.

Also taking part will be Jim Kuehn, a pastor from Minnesota, USA, who is now working in Belfast for Divine Healing Ministries. Music will be led by David Drinkell, Cathedral organist, and Drumbo Catholic Church Music Group.