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Schoolchildren walk together in visual display of hope

Simon Doyle
12 December, 2015 01:01

HUNDREDS of school children walked side by side yesterday in a display of hope as they move into 2016.

More than 400 teenagers from post-primary schools took to the streets of north Belfast for the cross community Christmas Peace Walk.

Pupils, school staff and clergy left Holy Family Parish Centre on the Cavehill Road and walked along Cavehill, Westland and Oldpark Roads before finishing at Boys' Model School.

St Patrick's College, Bearnageeha, Little Flower Girls, Hazelwood Integrated College and Belfast Model School for Girls were among the schools taking part.

"Young people are eager to become involved with events which are positive and will help to break down barriers," said St Patrick's head boy Michael McNicholl.

"We want to play our part in building a better more peaceful future for all."

Rev Stephen Thompson from Joanmount Methodist Minister was one of 10 clergy participating. He was joined by representatives of the Church of Ireland and Catholic, Elim and Presbyterian Churches.

"Over many years sections of north Belfast have been the focus of community unease at times spilling unto our streets," Rev Thompson said.

"Just below the turbulent waves there exists a calmer sense of community cohesion and commonality that often fails to reach media attention. Local clergy hope the walk will represent a growing sense of a hunger for a co-existence that celebrates diversity without diminishing inclusiveness."

12 December, 2015 01:01 News

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