Practical ecumenism

Sir, – In his thoughtful column of October 19th, "Why I am participating in service to mark partition" (Rite & Reason), Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin unfortunately fails to specifically mention any interreligious services being held at local parish level in Northern Ireland. It would seem that when Archbishop Martin actually refers in his column to certain "joint engagements" being held over the course of this year which are to build on "relationships for the future", he is only primarily writing about relationships and engagements between the leading top members of the churches in Ireland and not really about the lower-down members of churches at ordinary parish level.

But shouldn’t the leaders of the Protestant and Catholics churches be attempting to do their very best to build good spiritual relationships between their followers through “joint engagements” from the ground up at parish level and not just from the top down? This time of peace that Northern Ireland is enjoying should not be let go to waste and should be rightly seen as a valuable golden opportunity to build inter-church relations upon firm foundations at local level. – Yours, etc,


Kilrush, Co Clare.