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Hard Gospel Committee

Support for the Hard Gospel Project - Bishop Michael Jackson

On Thursday 7th July, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern TD, announced in Belfast to a large gathering of Groups associated with the work of reconciliation a grant of E40,000 (Euros) for the year 2005/6 from The Department of Foreign Affairs? Reconciliation Fund for The Hard Gospel Project. The Fund was established in 1982. It provides assistance to organizations involved in reconciliation work to create a better understanding between people on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.

Speaking to all the Groups Mr Ahern said: ? I am aware that your work is often carried out in difficult and challenging circumstances and today?s grant-aid reflects the Government?s deep appreciation of your dedication and commitment. Your quiet but constant contribution resonates wider than your own communities and plays a vital role in underpinning wider political efforts to achieve constructive engagement and agreement.?

The Revd Michael Parker and the Right Revd Michael Jackson, both Members of The Hard Gospel Committee, spoke with the Minister at some length about the Project. The Minister expressed his understanding of the vital importance of the work of The Hard Gospel in civil society in Ireland today and wished it every success.

Commenting on the grant, Bishop Jackson, formerly Chairperson of The Hard Gospel Committee, said: ?This is the sort of endorsement from beyond the Church of Ireland which The Hard Gospel Project genuinely appreciates. It underwrites the work which all Members of the Committee have done in preparation for the implementation of the Project. It further strengthens the remit of the Project as an all-Ireland Project in which the Church of Ireland has taken the lead. We thank the Minister and the Department for this significant grant.?