This programme concluded in March 2008
“Listen to all that someone has to say before making up your mind. Too many people already know their answer, and because of this they don’t listen, they’re just waiting to get their own point across. Consequently, they don’t learn anything. Say to yourself, I’m going to say something completely new, therefore I have to listen first”
Participant in the Clergy Group at Glencree Churches programme Workshop 2005.
Peacebuilding for Civil Society
Glencree Churches Programme provides opportunities for debate within and between churchgoers and other believers. Theological and doctrinal issues may be part of the dialogue process, but this is a peace building endeavour that asks questions about the extent to which religion is responsible for the causes and resolution of the conflicts in the island of Ireland. Thus Glencree Churches Programme was a civil society project about reconciliation, rather than a religious project about ecumenism.
The Programme facilitated a process that addressed issues that are surfaced by participants. In this way, people are offered a ‘safe space’ within which they are encouraged to meet the ‘other’, often for the first time; to ask questions -and to really listen to the answers.
This is a strategic initiative that it works horizontally through local and residential workshops in the community and vertically via consultations with church leaders. Its primary area of operation is Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland.
Churches Programme resources were offered through a trained facilitation team and include Interactive online dialogue and hard-copy resource material that provides on-going and sustainable sharing of knowledge. This material:
- Illustrates how Glencree programmes are designed and delivered
- Explains what is behind the work (i.e. the Glencree ethos and practices of mediation, facilitation, conflict transformation etc)
- Describes how the Glencree philosophy and practice can be applied generally.
- Offers training solutions to people who are involved in finding ways to deal with conflict.
The Difference we make
In offering this programme, Glencree made a further contribution to the many efforts that have been made by faith communities in both parts of Ireland and world-wide to understand the role that religion plays in causing and mitigating conflict
- further develop its programme work with churches in Ireland to include inter-faith and single-identity dimensions
- offer multi-level solutions that include dealing with requests by clergy for local capacity building.
Glencree’s earlier work in this field includes:
- Research/publication 1998/9 of:
The Believers Enquiry – ‘Imprisoned within Structures?’
The Role of Religious Believers in Building Peace in Ireland
This report records responses and debates with church leader in Ireland around the core question of the enquiry:
’What is the role of your church in building peace and who could work with you in this endeavour?
SInce 1999, Glencree Churches Programme has worked with more than 500 people at:
- Local and residential workshops
- Meetings with church leaders.
Glencree Churches Programme is funded by the European Union through the Cross-border consortium under the EU Peace II Programme and part-financed by the UK and Irish Governments.