Mission statement


Sir, – Patsy McGarry’s piece about Protestantism North and South was fascinating (“Republic’s secularisation brings Protestant and Catholic churches closer”, Analysis, June 12th).

It brought me back to my Church of Ireland childhood in Waterford in the 1960s. It also went a way to explaining why I always think of Evangelical Christians as speaking with an Ulster accent. I remember a small but vociferous number of Northern Protestants in the city who were zealous and passionate about their religion. Sometimes others visited to preach to locals of different denominations.

These people were very serious and devout; they shunned worldly pleasures like alcoholic drink, but were often quite partial to cakes and buns. This was good for all concerned as the Protestant community boasted some excellent bakers.

A particular memory stands out, when my father took me to a community tea party to host an Ulsterman who mentioned in his address that he was about to leave his home to become a missionary.

With dramatic images in mind of pith helmets in the jungle, I approached him, cake in hand, and asked him somewhat tentatively where his mission would take him.

The reply was unexpected: “Cork”.– Yours, etc,