Come prey with the big bigot….

ROLY-POLY paramilitary pastor Clifford Peeples has been in the headlines more than his fair share of times over the past few years. Last night Spotlight revealed how he is now involved in a curious power struggle at a Shankill evangelical church. It’s repeated tonight on BBC2 at 11.20pm.

There is much more to be told about Peeples, his relationship with the LVF, Orange Volunteers, and DUP in the run-up to the Good Friday Agreement and referendum, but I’d like to see what Spotlight touches on first…

  • Alex

    I saw this last night – it was quite interesting.

    Glad to see the in fighting and bickering and back stabbing that goes on in my own church is not preserved to only Church of Ireland!!

  • Carrington

    I find it hard to understand why any congregation would depose, a man who seems a genuine evangelical christian for someone with such a nefarious past as Clifford Peeples.

    RomeWatch Magizine is of course closely associated with Pastor Alan Campbell….

  • Traditional Unionist

    Glad to see the in fighting and bickering and back stabbing that goes on in my own church is not preserved to only Church of Ireland!!

    try being a presbyterian

  • james Orr

    I’ve been to this place as a visitor a few times in the last 2 years, and the previous Pastor (John Hull) is a thoroughly decent man with not an ounce of malice. The congregation is about 100 people, many of whom also attend other churches in the area as well, and is/was a genuinely warm and friendly place.

    I hadnt known Peeples was previously involved there; certainly there was never any undercurrent of sectarianism when I was in attendance.

    “Rome Watch” (I think) is produced by

    I’ll be watching the repeat.

  • David

    I found the programme quite intriguing. After 40 years of searching we have finally found the gun toting fundamentalist that Alliance party types think worship at every church that wants to get you saved.

    The programme gave the impression that Peebles had not been chosen by the congregation, but that Hull had led the majority of the congregation out of the building and that this allowed Peebles to take over. There was video footage of the opening of the building with well over 100 people present when Hull was in charge, together with footage of the current congregation, which seemed to be Peebles, his mother, a deacon and about 5 other people. It seems a bit strange that such a small minority were able to stage a coup, but that was the impression given.

    Regarding Peebles himself, I was very interested in the older footage of the man. He used to be a bearded man with glasses and a Belfast accent. He had a business that was physically attacked when he refused to make protection money payments to loyalist paramilitaries in the mid 1990s.

    It is unfortunate to see his transformation from the opponent of paramilitarism then, to the grenade possessing (and if the press are to be believed grenade blessing) figure that was caught in 1999.

    Prison seems to have made considerable changes to the man. The beard and glasses are gone and the Belfast accent has been replaced by the lilting sing song imitation rural accent that certain sorts of Protestant seem to think sounds more spiritual.

    He was asked in the programme about his paramilitary past, he seemed to say that he had made a mistake, but it didn’t sound like he thought it was that big a mistake. The programme focused a lot on RomeWatch which, judging from their internet site, seems to be a lurid anti-Catholic magazine. Apparently this lay behind the split.

    I’d be interested to know Mr Orr’s i,pressions of the place now…

  • Young Fogey

    that goes on in my own church is not preserved to only Church of Ireland!!

    Yeah, Alex, but I don’t think too many of our clergy act as unofficial chaplains to the Orange Volunteers!

    I once got a taxi home from the pub (to the New Lodge, incidentally) which was driven by Clifford Peoples. This would have been in about 95 or 96. He said “Praise Jesus” a lot and talked about how great it was that people were now standing up against paramilitaries. A deeply, deeply, strange man.

  • James Orr

    Saw the repeat. All very sad to see what’s happened there. For what its worth I think Pastor Hull did the right thing by opposing Peeples’ introduction of the “RomeWatch” literature, and obviously the vast majority of the congregation agreed with his stance.

  • Gonzo

    I remember seeing Peeples on that anti-Agreement platform in ’98 in Antrim with the LVF guard of honour and quite a few of the DUP – including Sammy Wilson – on the platform, when they were still touchy-feely.

    It wouldn’t surprise me one iota if the killers of Ciaran Heffron – killed by the LVF/Orange Volunteers an hour or two later just down the road – had been fired up by Peeple’s sectarian sermonising beforehand.

    You won’t hear much stronger sectarian bile anywhere, and I wouldn’t trust Peeples with a prayer meeting, let alone a box of Russian grenades or a congregation.

    This is the same guy who went round the Shankill scrawling ‘Ichabod’ on the walls, innit? Wonder if he thinks Ulster Prods are the lost tribe of Israel too?

  • Davros

    “Wonder if he thinks Ulster Prods are the lost tribe of Israel too?”

    Agree with a lot of what you say Gonzo, but if we start to mock people because of their religious beliefs are we any better than the bigots who go on about the Vatican?

  • bill

    Sammy Wilson can’t make up his mind whether he supports the lvf or the uvf.

    lvf platform in Antrim
    uvf platform on the Shankill

    I wonder who will get his support if the feud flares up again ?

  • Gonzo


    People can worship whatever they like. But when their ‘god’ tells them to preach hatred, become a terrorist and transport a weapons cache around, I think a little mockery is justified.

    Mr Hull, for example, seems to have fairly fundamental beliefs. Yet he hasn’t been subject to anything but sympathy on this thread.

    It doesn’t take a genius to work out why…

  • Davros

    Gonzo – what’s the difference between you mocking the British Israelites and Paisleyites going on about Rome ? Ball and Man.

  • Gonzo

    Are you saying I can’t criticise a group’s beliefs, should I choose to (but which I didn’t actually do here)?

    I do not regard a group as a ‘man’, so they are all fair game.

    There’s a happy medium between mockery and justifiable criticism.

  • Davros

    I’m suggesting you should set a good example in respect of Ball not Man. It cannot help sort out problems with mainting standards, and must make some people who have been carded wonder , that a senior contributor makes personal comments and attacks someone via his religious beliefs.

  • Eddie

    The programme on Pea-brain bigot Peeples was fascinating. His association with “pastor” Alan Campbell is note-worthy – to say that Campbell is a dodgy character is an understatement – there’s been all sorts of sinister stories doing the rounds about him for years – the Sunday World ran a feature on him some years ago.

    These “religious” nuts are simply hatred-spewing morons. It was almost funny watching that utter buffoon Peeples waddling up to the pulpit of that wee Church – and then the sweet sound of his booming foghorn voice!! His ma was a scream too!

    But the reason it wasn’t really funny at all was on account of those poor people, the majority of the congregation in fact, who have been driven away from their church by this demonic imposter. Remember the “demon pastors” referred to by the police some time ago who “prayed” over guns and pipebombs before they were taken out on murderous missions?

    I was really impressed with Pastor Hull – he came across as a genuine man of God – goodness was shining from his face. These decent people should not have to suffer at the hands of pathetic creatures like Peeples and Somerville!

    You hear the likes of Somerville going on about God having “forgiven” their “past”. And I know there are definitely genuine cases of former terrorists – on both sides – who are now genuine Christians.

    But didn’t Jesus say something about going and being reconciled with your brother/sister first and then come to God with your offering? Has Somerville approached the family of Fran O’Toole or Patrick Falls and sought their forgiveness??

    I really hope that big clown Peeples and his fellow Catholic-haters get out of that little church and leave those good people alone. What struck me about the ordinary folk of Bethel Church is how very alike they are to so many devout Catholics I know around the Falls Rd.

    The divisions in this society are so sad – the good people are so alike behind the labels. And unfortunately both communities have their gutter snipes as well.

    Speaking of “religious” buffoonery – has anyone read “bishop” Pat Buckley’s new book?

  • Manasseh

    Re: Eddie, June 12, 2005

    How sad it is for people of Irish descent on the other side of the world to see how demonetized Ireland has become. It probably has one of the highest percentage per population of demonetized souls of any country judging from the disgusting example it sends to the rest of the world–terrorist attacks, bombings, burning of churches, murder of pastors and their believers right in their own churches, the gunning down of fathers of young families in a futile attempt to chase them off the land to claim Ireland for other demons and the politically ambitious, etc.

    Jesus – the REAL Jesus and not the counterfeit image created by the antichrist – says in my open Bible:

    l. “Ye shall be persecuted in high places and killed for My name’s sake…” Seemingly there is no one more persecuted, harassed and politically threatened than Alan Campbell and his followers!

    2. “Ye shall be hated for My name’s sake…” There is no one seemingly more hated over the years than Alan Campbell! All manner of devils appear to taunt him.

    This tells the wise observer from the outside world he has credibility over all others and should be taken seriously. The Bible says this type of persecution is the earmark of a true disciple of Christ. How many Alan Campbell critics can claim this kind of persecution in their personal life; or do they enjoy an easy life whereby their egos are fueled by the support they get for what they say and do?

    Thank God for bringing one of His Twelve Tribes of Israel to their senses in these, the final days! Our Scandinavian brothers feel they have discovered God’s built-in biological instrument of final judgment at the base of the human spine. They call it, “the Energy of Transformation”, or by its’ Hindu name, “kundalini”. There is a warning on their kundalini web site: “Danger High Voltage – We are treading sacred waters here. To plunge in recklessly is to risk self-annihilation”.

    Observers tell us there is evidence of increased spontaneous kundalini arisings within the human population worldwide. For the wicked and adulterous it can bring unbelievable horrors both physically and mentally. There is no emergency room physician, no medication, no rosary beads, no crosses or statues, no “mother Mary”, no so-called “Jesus cookies”, and no priest to save one from the ravages of a spontaneously risen kundalini–only true repentance in the name of the real Jesus! Seemingly few in Ireland understand this Biblical truth. Hats off to Scandinavia! May they continue catching on to Truth!

    Perhaps what Ireland needs is a good scare from God through a few sample cases of spontaneous human combustion–believed by some to be the cause of the ultimate destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah through God’s rising of kundalini as a result of His wrath. Ref. web site: Larry E. Arnold, “Ablaze – the mysterious fires of spontaneous human combustion”, chapter 11 on kundalini as possible cause. This may be one way to cleanse out demons and bring a nation to repentance so it can stop hundreds of years of persecution of God’s true Saints like Pastor Alan Campbell!