PS is an email and web-based blog format issued regularly by Contemporary Christianity. The format provides an online space for writers toexplore issues relating to church, culture and life in Northern Ireland, seeking to understand the times through insights from Scripture, theology, reason and the observations that flow from lived experience.
PS will never claim to have all the answers, but we hope to prompt questions that leave our readers a little closer to the answer at the end of the piece than they were at the beginning.
Our writers range from well-known names in academia and full-time ministry, to professionals with particular subject matter expertise, to lay people with passion for a subject and a gift for writing.
You can get involved in conversations by posting comments in the threads below the blogs, and if you’re interested in writing for us, you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reflections over the last 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement Referendum Vote (Friday 22nd May, 1998)
Even the sparrow has found a home.
I am always very wary of hype… words like iconic / amazing / radical / life changing / once in a lifetime usually mean that I pay less attention to what is being promoted than I might otherwise have done.
While the Good Friday Agreement formally recognised the principle of consent, it made the Union more vulnerable than before.
As a ‘ceasefire baby’ I have no specific memory of that Good Friday! What I remember instead is referendum day. On 22 May 1998 concurrent referenda were held in Ireland and Northern Ireland to, in essence, approve the terms of what is now called the Belfast ‘Good Friday’ Agreement.
It is my sense that the work of my generation is to discern what is ours to let go of and what is ours to let carry forward.
As we reflect on this anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, what had we hoped?
It was the helicopters, that potent background hum of troubles Belfast, that signalled what progress was being made or not made.
On Sunday morning (9 April) lots of Christian people will get out of their beds early, and join with others for a happy and enthusiastic Easter morning celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grip of death and hell.
For Christians of a certain age there has been a noticeable change in the dynamics of faith in Northern Ireland. I grew up through an era where the differences between Protestants and Catholics were discussed, argued over and viewed as critical.
Samson and Goliath, the two gantry cranes that dominate large swathes of the Belfast skyline and can be seen from miles around.
“Reconciliation” is a word that political sources have pilfered from the vocabulary of scripture. However, without definition, it can easily degenerate into a term synonymous with peaceful apartheid or superficial agreement. As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday, agreement the need for some definition of reconciliation becomes more urgent.