Bringing light to the interface

Resource type: News

Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) |

Interface Communities Come Together for First Christmas Carol Service

For many years the Stewartstown Road in west Belfast (Northern Ireland) was the focus for sectarian tension and violence between the small Unionist community of Suffolk and the surrounding largely Nationalist Lenadoon community. It was a road which few crossed and which for many was symbolic of the worst of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

However, this Christmas Stewartstown Road is shining brightly as an example to other interface communities. This week local children from both sides of the community came together on the Stewartstown Road to lead Northern Ireland’s first interface Christmas Carol service.

The service followed lantern lit processions by children from communities of Suffolk and Lenadoon culminated in an official ‘lighting’ of a Christmas tree on the Stewartstown Road.

This ground breaking celebration was organised bySuffolk Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG), a partnership between Suffolk Community Forum and Lenadoon Community Forum. SLIG has been working since 1996 to build strong, positive relationships between the Suffolk and Lenadoon communities, taking practical action to address shared social issues and promoting dialogue.

With a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, SLIG has developed an innovative peace building plan for the area and is rolling out a range of programmes designed to promote community-based reconciliation, joint advocacy and the development of shared spaces.