Hard Gospel Committee
Directory of Migrant-led Churches & Chaplaincies to be Launched
New Directory of Over 350 Migrant-Led Irish Churches and Chaplaincies to be Launched in Belfast and Dublin
A new Directory listing 361 migrant-led churches and chaplaincies now existing across Ireland is to be launched on Friday 5th December in Belfast by Fr Irenaeus du Plessis of Belfast’s Antiochian Orthodox Church and in Dublin by the Minister for Integration, Mr Conor Lenihan TD on Sunday 7th December. Compiled by the All-Ireland Churches Consultative Meeting on Racism (AICCMR), the directory gives the first real snapshot of the diversity of Christian practice in Ireland today, as well as a practical source of information.
The Belfast launch will take place at Edgehill Theological College, Lennoxvale, Belfast from 4.00 to 5.30pm on Friday 5th December, while the Dublin launch will be held at the Best Western Sheldon Hotel, Kylemore Rd, Dublin 12, at 5.30pm, followed by a special Carol Service, with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, in the Jesus Centre at 7pm.
The research was carried out by Dr Scott Boldt, Yvonne Naylor, Rob Fairmichael and Naomi Brown in Northern Ireland and by Dr Livingstone Thompson of Meath Cultural Solutions and Dr Alan Bruce of Universal Learning Systems in the Republic of Ireland.
In advance of the launches, Executive Secretary of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting, Michael Earle, said, ‘This directory is a timely contribution to an ever-changing picture of new neighbours coming to live amongst us throughout this island. Its aim is to provide a centralised database and resource for new migrants, community groups, established Irish churches and the wider community on this island. It serves as a mapping exercise to raise Irish awareness of the extraordinary changes taking place in their midst and of the growing research and understanding about ethnic, parallel and intercultural congregations that are developing in our local neighbourhoods.’
Philip McKinley, project officer leading on the development of the directory for the Hard Gospel project, further commented, ‘This directory has focused on churches and chaplaincies, where migrants are key leaders and where their congregations are migrant majority.’
While the directory will be launched in published form, it will also be kept up to date as an online directory at www.irishchurches.org.
• The All-Ireland Churches Consultative Meeting on Racism is part of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting which has 16 member churches.
• The project has been supported by the Church of Ireland’s Hard Gospel Project via the Community Bridges Project of the International Fund for Ireland; Edgehill Reconciliation Project via the EU Regional Development Fund; the Presbyterian Board of Mission in Ireland; the Irish Bishops’ Migrant and Refugee Project; and the AICCMR.
• The Hard Gospel Project is a Church of Ireland initiative set up to address the issues of sectarianism, racism and dealing with difference in the rapidly changing island of Ireland in the 21st century.
Issued by the Hard Gospel Project
The Hard Gospel Project
Church of Ireland House