Developed through an on-going partnership and series of discussions among congregants of Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church and St Colmcille’s Catholic Parish in East Belfast, ‘An Inclusive Covenant’ was written and signed by participants as an alternative version of the Ulster Covenant for the present day. It addresses current issues by presenting division, not Home Rule, as a danger to be overcome.
An Inclusive Covenant
The reimagined covenant is detailed below:
Being convinced in our consciences that God’s Rule would be advantageous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as of the whole of Ireland, supportive of our civil and religious freedom, constructive of our citizenship, and beneficial to the unity of God’s Kingdom we, whose names are underwritten, women and men of Ulster, humbly relying on the God of Love whom our forbearers in days of stress and trial confidently trusted, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn Covenant, throughout this our time of threatening Division, to stand by one another in defending, for ourselves and our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in God’s Kingdom, and in using all peaceful means which may be found necessary to show the Love of God as revealed in Jesus. And in the event of such Division being forced upon us, we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right, we hereto subscribe our names.
What worked well and what, if anything, didn't?
The partnership between the two churches had been encouraged in their reflections by the work done by Johnston McMaster and Cathy Higgins around Ethical and Shared Remembering Project for the Decade of Anniversaries.
This project takes seriously the role of historical events in present-day life and imaginatively seeks to address those issues in a way that builds up community cohesion.
Contact Alistair Kilgore via Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church at 02890403589.