10 April 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The Archbishops of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke, have issued a statement marking this significant anniversary saying, ‘We thank God for all that has been achieved in shaping a peaceful and shared future over the past twenty years’.
In the Christian tradition we share, Good Friday is a time of returning to God and of “calling out” anything which prevents us from living truly as disciples of Jesus Christ. This can be a painful exercise. But we are an Easter people. We are always beginning. We are always making a fresh start. It was in the light of the Resurrection that Saint Paul urged us to be “ambassadors” of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5 20).’
They concluded, ‘The peace we have today took a great effort to achieve; it will equally take risk, and leadership at all levels, to maintain. It is therefore our sincere shared prayer that this anniversary will help to rekindle a spirit of opportunity, healing and hope for lasting peace which is now needed more than ever. We call on all people of good will to be ambassadors of reconciliation, helping to rebuild trust and mutual respect in order to move us further forward and closer together as a society that places the common good as its primary purpose.’