Bishop Trevor Williams, former leader of the Corrymeela community, will reflect on a visit to Israel, the occupied Palestinian Territory and Gaza at Belfast’s Cathedral’s final Autumn Talk on Wednesday December 9.
Bishop Williams, who is chair of Christian Aid Ireland and former Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, will be talking about what has been learned about reconciliation in Northern Ireland and comparing the situation here with these places where they also have ‘peace walls.’
Bishop Williams will show videos from his 2013 trip with Christian Aid and describe some of the work that is being done in Israel, the occupied Palestinian Territory and Gaza.
He said many stories had touched him during this visit. “One of the most difficult was meeting a chicken farmer whose farm had been hit by a bomb and completely destroyed,” Bishop Williams said.
“His brother’s attitude was ‘what can we do now, the funders have not come forward yet?’ They were totally dependent on outside funding. This is a real strike on human dignity. The whole situation had eroded their normal human existence and they were totally dependent on others to survive.”
The Bishop will recount stories of Jews and Palestinians working together for human rights for all.
“Israel and Palestine is a much more exaggerated problem than here in Northern Ireland, but the dynamics are similar,” he said.
“Once we become an ‘us and them’ society we are in trouble. Reconciliation is about how you live with difference and how you live well with each other. When one group is over another you destroy the basis of a harmonious community.”
Bishop Williams’ talk begins at 12.45pm in the Cathedral Halls, and will last 45 minutes. Refreshments served at 12.15pm. A suggested donation is £5.