The parishioners of Kilrea welcomed a special guest last Sunday, Rev David Armstrong and his wife June, who attended Mass in Drumagarner and then joined the Saint Vincent de Paul Society at their Christmas Dinner.
The Armstrongs were guests of local Assembly Member John Dallat and his wife Anne who have been friends for many years.
Mr Dallat said the families had been friends “right back to the time when David and his family had to leave Limavady after crossing the road to bring Christmas greetings to the congregation in the Church of Christ the King.
“This time there was no controversy and only goodwill and at times emotional scenes as parishioners embraced the cleric as he met them to extend the hand of friendship and genuine respect for diversity and difference as the season of Christmas approaches.
“Having Rev David Armstrong in our parish is one of our proudest moments and a fitting development of a friendship which has lasted over many years. Without pointing the finger at anyone or attributing blame for the past I believe passionately that there is much to learn from this wonderful cleric on how we develop our personal approach to Christianity, how we respect each other and quite frankly I see no reason why it should not be like every day in every corner of our country threatened by no one.”