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The Borderless Church

The Borderless Church

The “Borderless Church” Project is the RCB Library’s contribution to reconciliation and deepening of understandings by freely sharing and making searchable as a digital resource the content of the Church of Ireland Gazette, the Church’s weekly newspaper, 1856–2010, for a worldwide audience.

Written and read by lay and clerical members and others, the Gazette provides the longest–running public commentary on the Church’s affairs. As such it is recognised as a valuable primary source for understanding the complexities and nuance of Church of Ireland and indeed wider Protestant identity, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life north and south, being an all–island institution, with dioceses, parishes and other structures spanning the Border.

Drawing on this resource, the ‘Borderless Church’ series of six illustrated online presentations, challenges stereotypes by helping others to understand church reactions to events and developments, through the period from 1950 to 1999. These are as follows:

Dr Marie Coleman on the 1950s
“The Church of Ireland Gazette’s Perspective on Life in 1950s Ireland”

Prof. Brian M. Walker on the 1960s in Northern Ireland
“A Northern Ireland Perspective on the Gazette’s Coverage of the 1960s”

Dr Ian d’Alton on the 1960s in the Republic of Ireland
“A Borderless Church? The 1960–69 Period”

David Bird on the 1970s
“Charting a Course through the 1970s”

Revd Clifford Skillen on the 1980s
“The Church of Ireland Gazette in the 1980s – ‘A Borderless Church’”

Archbishop John McDowell on the 1990s
“Flicking Through the Pages: The Church of Ireland Gazette in the 1990s”


The RCB Library is most grateful for the support of the Irish Government’s Reconciliation Fund, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which made this series possible. It also acknowledges the input of the six Borderless Church contributors who have used the unique source that is the Church of Ireland Gazette to share their understandings and memories with a wider audience.

To view the Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive 1856–2010, click:


Readers may also be interested in Divided States: Irish Independence and its Aftermath, 1918–1923, a reading list produced separately by the Church’s Historical Centenaries Working Group to encourage a greater understanding of this period, which is available at this link.

The reading list covers the wider context of Irish history, the development of Nationalism and Unionism, events in Ireland from 1913 to 1923, the Anglo–Irish Treaty, the Civil War, Partition and the development of Northern Ireland, the Southern Protestant community, and the role of women in the revolutionary era.



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