Senior representatives of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and the Royal Black Institution met today (WED) with Roman Catholic clergy in Belfast.
Among the attendees at the preliminary meeting, held at the Orange Institution’s temporary headquarters, were the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson; Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Millar Farr, and the Bishop of Down and Connor, Most Rev Noel Treanor.
As well as discussing the issue of religious freedom in secular society, the clergy were given a presentation of the Orange Institution’s educational outreach programme and an overview of the REACH Project, which will see the development of two new interpretative centres in Belfast and Loughgall.
All parties agreed the meeting was helpful, allowing a useful exchange of views and committed themselves to further engagement.
Other Loyal Order representatives included the Rev Alistair Smyth, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland; Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary; Jack Greenald, Grand Treasurer; Raymond Spiers, Assistant Grand Master; George Chittick, Grand Master of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast and Billy Scott, Imperial Grand Registrar of the Royal Black Institution.
Bishop Treanor was accompanied by Rev Timothy Bartlett, Secretary to the northern Bishops and Rev Michael Sheehan, Administrator of St Patrick’s Parish, Donegall Street, Belfast.