A senior Anglican has expressed thanks for the support he has received for an idea to bring churches and loyal orders together.
Canon Ian Ellis, the editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette, suggested the creation of an independent forum where all manner of matters could be discussed.
It has been met with expressions of interest from the Orange Order and Presbyterian Church, while the Methodists and Church of Ireland said they would each consider the proposal.
On Sunday, Canon Ellis said he wanted “publicly to express my thanks to the leading Presbyterians, Moderator Michael Barry and Dr Norman Hamilton, and to the leadership of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, for their support in the print and broadcast media over the weekend”.
He had suggested the forum could help members of loyal orders reconnect with the institutional churches, and could discuss issues such as ecumenicalism and parading.
He made the call when writing in the News Letter on New Year’s Day.
Such a group could also involve representatives of the Catholic Church, he added.
He said: “As Dr Norman Hamilton has since said, issues such as education and unemployment, as well as identity issues, are all part of the ‘mix’. I think theological issues would also be important.”