Around 50 people made up of Clergy, Church leaders and those enthusiastic about their community gathered recently in Larne Town Hall for a conference exploring the role of the church in local communities.
‘Church and Community – Working toward Peace and Prosperity in Mid and East Antrim’ also looked at how residents can work together for the common good of the borough and those who live in it.
The event was supported by The Executive Office through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme.
The Ballymena Church Members Forum, Carrickfergus Churches Forum and Larne Inter-Church Forum all shared information about the work they do. Their respective Chairs, Jennifer McLernon, Roy Crowe and Rev Ivan Hull, also spoke about the good relations work they have been involved in.
Event guest speaker, Rev Dr Norman Hamilton OBE, gave a thought provoking and aspirational keynote address about the benefits of active involvement and engagement, suggesting that no group of people ever live without interdependence being at the heart of common good.
Outgoing Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, who hosted the event, said: “I was delighted to take part in this informative event and that the Rev Dr Norman Hamilton came along. He has years of experience working in community and his address was both thought provoking and encouraging.
“The conference also provided an opportunity to consider how we can work together for the common good of our borough and the communities living in it. Together we can build towards the vision of a strong, vibrant, safe and inclusive community.
“The church has many different and important roles within our community and it is important we continue to have structured conversations which explore our development, wellbeing and further our understanding of each other.
“These conversations have the ability to improve the welfare of communities as a whole to ensure everyone who lives here feels welcome, safe and respected,” Councillor Reid said.