Counterpoint: Divided Churches

Counterpoint: Divided Churches

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Antrim, Belfast, Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, St Georges Church, Star of the Sea Church




Transmission 01/03/1989


24min 48sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presenter Brian Black explores the topic of ecumenism. 

Beginning at St Georges (Church of Ireland), Canon Edgar Turner discusses Good Friday and how it represents another chance for the different denominations of the Christian faith to come together to worship. He explains how his church has been leading through example - on the Sunday before Christmas, his choir and that of St Mary's (a Roman Catholic church) attended a service in the First Presbyterian Church on Rosemary Street. 

Canon Hugh Murphy from the Star of the Sea Church (Roman Catholic) explains how their ecumenical services work, stating that no man or woman preaches, instead it is based entirely around scripture. Asked if Protestants would be welcome at his church's services, he answers, "as my crowd boast, Protestants are always welcome". 

Rev. David Lapsley, from Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, explains how Good Friday services are a relatively recent development. Their history going back only as far as the Reformation (sixteenth-century) and the introduction of fasting at Lent. 

Finally, Dr John Thompson, a former Presbyterian moderator, Fr. Brendan Murrary from the Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Whittington (President of the Methodist Church) and Bishop Gordon McMullan, Church of Ireland, are brought together to consider the virtues of the ecumenical movement. Each believes in the potential of ecumenism to promote unity amongst Christian peoples but, whilst acknowledging progress to date, they believe that further theological discussions are required for this potential to be realised.


Counterpoint is Ulster Television's landmark current affair series, which was also broadcast to a national audience on Channel4. Series' editor, Derek Murray described Counterpoint as addressing a "wide range of social concerns which affect every family in Ulster".


Presented by Brian Black

Produced by Jamie Delargy

Directored Tony Boyle

A UTV Production



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