Fermanagh Churches Forum

creating community ~ celebrating diversity

Seminar series

Are we still up for the challenge of reconciliation? Seventeen years on from the
hope-filled Belfast Agreement, things have changed for the better, but we remain a
society limping from one crisis to another. Our political inability to deal with the
past and with sectarianism leaves us prisoners of our history and culture. We still
share no vision of a common good and no clear path into the future.
Faith communities are an integral part  our struggles towards recnciliation and,
we must admit, part of their failures. We feel disheartened and disillusioned by yet
another crisis in what feels like an endless stream of the same.
But ‘crisis’ in the language of the Christian gospel means judgment and also
opportunity. Are people of faith still able to honour their long-term commitment to
reconciliation, to renew their vision and active engagement?
A new five-part course in Enniskillen, facilitated by the well-known and popular Dr.
Johnston McMaster, will be exploring these questions. Organised by the Fermanagh
Churches Forum and supported by the Community Relations Council, the course will
begin this Thursday, 5th November, at 8pm in the Waterways Ireland headquarters
on the Sligo Road.
All are very welcome, entrance is free, including refreshments, and there is no need to book.

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We will be holding our AGM this Thursday (29th October) at 8pm at the Bridge Centre, Enniskillen (the hall at the Presbyterian church on East Bridge Street).

The guest speakers for the evening will be Susanne Downey of the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of food banks across the UK,



and Jonathan Hayward of Christians Against Poverty, which works through local churches to help people suffering from poverty and debt.



All are very welcome, entrance is free, including refreshments, and there is no need to book. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Omagh Churches Forum Conference


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Conference: A Bridge Between Two Distinct Worlds

Pont génois de Pianella, Ota, Corse-du-Sud, France

Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Fermanagh Churches Forum (in association with Fermanagh and Omagh Council)

  Venue: Manor House Hotel Enniskillen

Date: September 29th 2015

10.00am – 4. 00pm


‘A Bridge Between Two Distinct Worlds: Remembering the Past and Looking towards the Future’.

A day conference exploring how we can remember the two crucial events of 1916, the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme. The focus is less on history and more on how we use memory. It will look at the limitations of re-enactment, the paradoxes of memory, what we forget to remember, how we honour the dead without glorifying violence and how we take our own responsibility for building a different future without being controlled by voices from the grave. The exploration will bring ethics and memory together and build a bridge between two very distinct worlds, the past and the present/future.

10.00am – 10.25am        Registration – Tea / coffee on arrival

10.30am                           Welcome

10.40am – 11.10am       Dr. Johnston McMaster: ‘The Challenge to Ethically Remember in 2016’

11.10am – 12.00 noon  Interactive Group Discussion

12noon – 12.45pm        Questions and Answers. Facilitated Plenary Discussion  

12.45pm   – 1. 45pm      Lunch

1.45pm – 2.15pm           Dr. Johnston McMaster: ‘god and Nationalism: The Abuse of the Sacred in  

                                           War and Violence’              

2.15pm – 3.00pm          Interactive Group Discussion

3.00pm – 3.40pm        Questions and Answers. Facilitated Plenary Discussion

3.40pm – 4.00pm         A Way Forward for 2016?

4.00pm Closing Reflection


This conference is free of charge and open to everyone, but pre-booking is essential for catering purposes.  Please email me at info@fermanaghchurchesforum.org on or before Thursday 24th September.



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Lenten lunches

On Wednesday 25th February we are holding the first of this year’s Lenten lunches from 12.45 to 2pm in the Bridge Centre of the Presbyterian Church in Enniskillen. As in previous years, we will share a simple lunch, provided by the church community, followed by a short period of prayer and meditation. There is no entrance charge but a collection will be taken for Christian Aid and Trocaire. Further Lenten lunches will be held in Enniskillen as follows, all on Wednesdays from 12.45 to 2pm.

4th March – St Michael’s Parish Centre, beside St Michael’s Catholic Church

18th March – McArthur Hall, Enniskillen Methodist Church, Wesley Street entrance

25th March – St Macartin’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Hall

On 11th March we are invited to join the Faith & Friendship group which will be meeting in the Bridge Centre from 12.30 to 2pm. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring your own lunch for this event.

All are very welcome to come along – we look forward to seeing you there.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. In the southern hemisphere, where January is a vacation time, churches often find other days to celebrate it, for example around Pentecost, which is also a symbolic date for unity.

The Fermanagh Churches Forum organises a shared service each year to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This year it will be held in St Michael’s (Catholic) Church in Enniskillen, on Thursday 22nd January at 7.30pm.  All are very welcome.

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Glenn’s talk and our AGM


Aslan“It’s not safe, but it’s good.”  Readers of the Chronicles of Narnia books by C. S. Lewis may recognise echoes of his description of Aslan the great Lion.  And now it is the challenging title of Glenn Harvey’s talk  at the Bridge Centre (beside Enniskillen Presbyterian Church) on Tuesday 25th November at 7.30pm.  Glenn, the local Good Relations Officer in the Irish Churches Peace Project, will be speaking about his work with the ICPP, its successes and challenges, and will welcome the opportunity to answer your questions.

The occasion is the AGM of the Fermanagh Churches Forum,  and Glenn’s talk will be followed by light refreshments (and the opportunity to pay your 2014/15 membership subscription – still only £10!) and then the formal business of the meeting. All are very welcome, entrance is free, and there is no need to book.

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Faith and Politics seminars

clon1In association with the Irish School of Ecumenics, we are hosting a five session course, facilitated by Dr. Johnston McMaster and entitled “Faith and Politics we always have with us”. The course takes place on Thursday evenings from 13th November to 11th December, from 8 to 10pm at Enniskillen library. All are welcome, the course is free of charge, and booking is not essential, although it would be helpful if you could let us know that you are coming – please email Karen Nicholson of ISE at cenisec@tcd.ie

Download the full course leaflet here:



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Celebration of Praise with Kenyan Children’s Choir

Sunday 19th October – “Celebration of Praise” with children from Kindfund Kenya together with local Enniskillen choirs from Holy Trinity Primary School, the Model Primary School and St Macartin’s Cathedral. Commencing at 7.00pm in St Macartin’s Cathedral and concluding St Michael’s Church, Enniskillen. Refreshments afterwards in the Cathedral Hall where there will be an opportunity to meet with the children who have been in Northern Ireland for the past month, and will depart for Kenya after this event which concludes their outreach visit to the province.

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A step too far? A Contemplation on Forgiveness

The Irish Churches Peace Project in partnership with the Fermanagh Churches Forum is hosting this series of evenings exploring the concept and practice of forgiveness. The events will include extracts from an acclaimed film on the subject, expert speakers and many opportunities for discussion and reflection. They will take place on Thursday evenings, the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of October, from 7.30pm until 9.30pm in the Enniskillen Hotel. All are very welcome, the evenings are free of charge and there is no need to book in advance. We look forward to seeing you there.

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