A major new television series City of Faith, due to begin on Monday, May 26 on BBC One Northern Ireland, will feature Armagh people talking about their own personal experiences of a life of faith.
The focus for the series is Armagh, often viewed as the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland since the 5th Century when St Patrick founded his church there.
From its earliest known history, Armagh is a place where people have searched for something greater than themselves. Now, in a powerful new six-part series made for BBC Northern Ireland, exploring life and faith in Armagh, people from the city and the surrounding area share their stories of what faith means to them and why it matters in their lives.
The first programme features David and Claire Scott, (pictured), members of The Mall Presbyterian Church.
The Scotts’ young son Daniel was diagnosed with Exomphalos – a medical condition which means some of his main organs are outside his body. The couple share their story and explain how this situation has brought them both closer to one another and to God.
Also featured is Jack O’Hare, a former primary school principal, who was very involved with the restoration of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and was awarded the Papal Medal, the highest honour which can be bestowed on laity by the Pope.
Gerry Gribbon, a recovering alcoholic, who moved to Armagh from Belfast over 30 years ago, features too. He has devoted his life to helping others.
Cameras follow him from Armagh to Lourdes as he makes his annual pilgrimage with a local group, which he has done for the past 17 years. Each year the trip has an added poignancy for Gerry, as it coincides with the anniversary of his son’s death.
Brendan Byrne, series producer/director, said: “City of Faith has been an inspiring journey. I’ve had the opportunity of opening a window into the extraordinary life stories of so many ordinary people, people whom you couldn’t fail to identify and empathise with.
“These programmes are about personal faith, rather than religion, and making them has strengthened my own faith in the goodness and decency of my fellow countrymen and women from all traditions, and all walks of life here.
“Armagh opened its arms to my team, and in return I hope our portrayal of this city’s faithful is a tribute to that warm welcome.”
City of Faith, made by Tern Television, begins on Monday, May 26 on BBC One Northern Ireland, at 10.40pm.
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