Churches unite with pupils to remember Rising and Somme

Church leaders Rev Peter Murray, Dr Robert Buick, Rev Craig Wilson, Fr Michael Canny and Bishop Ken Good at the Journey Together celebration event in Derry's Guildhall.

Church leaders Rev Peter Murray, Dr Robert Buick, Rev Craig Wilson, Fr Michael Canny and Bishop Ken Good at the Journey Together celebration event in Derry's Guildhall.

Leaders of the four main churches have joined students and teachers from a dozen schools to celebrate a project on the Easter Rising and the Somme.

The project brought together more than 60 students from across the community and from both sides of the border to explore the key events of 1916 on a collaborative and way.

The audience at the Journey Together celebration event in Derry's Guildhall.

The audience at the Journey Together celebration event in Derry's Guildhall.

Pupils made joint visits to the Somme Centre near Belfast and to historic sites in Dublin. They took part in an ‘Ethical and Shared Remembering’ workshop, facilitated by The Junction and they participated in a series of workshops run by the Nerve Centre, which used animation and new technology to explore the historic events creatively.

The celebration event at the Guildhall showcased some of the work done by students involved in the ‘Journey Together’ project.

Three of them – Oisin Bowyer from Carndonagh Community School, Tegan Nesbitt from Foyle College and Jack Long from St. Columb’s College – shared their reflections on the experience.

All those who took part in the project received a certificate and a commemorative photograph and presentations were made to the schools involved.

The event included a short religious service, in which the Methodist Church’s District Superintendent, Rev Peter Murray, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Derry and Donegal, Rev Craig Wilson, Father Michael Canny (representing the Bishop of Derry, Dr. Donal McKeown) and the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good all took part.

Prayers were said for “peace in a broken world” and for “commitment to reconciliation.”

Speaking on behalf of the church leaders about the project, Bishop Good said: “I think it is a good thing that will flow out and ripple out, and news of it will spread from this city – which is often the forerunner of good news stories.”