Catalyst Live 2016 speaker awarded civic leadership honour
Co-ordinating a festival alongside a Catholic priest to help unite Belfast has led to acclaimed poet, Presbyterian minister and Catalyst Live 2016 speaker Steve Stockman being awarded a prominent community award in Northern Ireland
At Catalyst Live 2016, you will get to see and hear fascinating speakers from around the world. Now one of them is more than just scintillating to listen to: he’s award-winning too.
Steve Stockman, a poet, social commentator and Presbyterian minister in Belfast, has just been jointly honoured with his friend Father Martin Magill in the Community Relations Council of Northern Ireland’s Annual Award for Civic Leadership 2016.
They were both recognised not only for their writing, broadcasting and individual community work but also for their collaboration on the 4 Corners Festival which encourages the Catholic and Protestant populations to experience cultural events in areas of Belfast they would not normally venture into and, by doing so, break down barriers and foster new relationships.
For Steve Stockman, the award is a recognition of the role the Church in Northern Ireland is now making in bringing communities together, something it had not always done in the past. “I think when it comes to peace and reconciliation, we were slow to get involved during the troubles,” he says. “There was a war happening in the street that people perhaps would say was not a religious war, but there was a cold war happening between the churches underneath that that I don’t think helped what was going on in the street. Certainly, it did not bring peace and reconciliation as a result.
“When I read the scriptures in the context of Northern Ireland and hear Jesus saying ‘Love your enemy,’ I don’t have much thinking to do to work out where that happens. It happens when we cross those barriers that are historic.”
Book your ticket now to see Steve Stockman and a diverse range of inspiring speakers at Catalyst Live on 16 November (Birmingham) and 17 November (Reading).
Photos taken from Steve Stockman's blog Soul Surmise
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.