The Challenges facing the Church of Ireland one hundred years ago
LOOKING back a hundred years, the most obvious of the challenges facing the Church of Ireland was the constitutional crisis caused by partition and the establishment of two new polities, Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.
This presented questions about the future of the all-Ireland Church. As well as this, in the south the Church faced difficulties concerning its fall in numbers, a problem exacerbated by the departure of British security and administrative personnel and the violence of the revolutionary period. In the north, it experienced difficulties with its growing numbers in Belfast, especially among the city’s working class.
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Brian M Walker
is Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, and author of ‘Irish history matters: politics, identities and commemoration’.