Big Tent Conversations at Skainos this Autumn

The Skainos Centre at 239 Newtownards Road in Belfast will be hosting a series of discussions this autumn around “big issues affecting our community as we move forward.” The discussions look to get to the heart of matters around flags, victims and dealing with the past.

Each discussion will be held in the Refresh Café in Skainos Square from 7.00-9.00 pm. Topics include:

Tues 9 Sept: The Future of the Past

Thurs 2 Oct: The Kiss of Complicity

Tues 4 Nov: A Home from Home

Tues 2 Dec: Being the Other

The organisers of the discussions describe them as “crowd sourced wisdom” and describe their rationale this way:

We’ve been thinking for some time about the big issues affecting our community as we move forward. What we have concluded is that there is wisdom to be found in the gentle work of good conversation.

To that end we would like to invite you to a series of good conversations as we head into the Autumn. Come to as few or as many as you want to, but come prepared to converse. At the core of each event will be face to face discussion which we will approach from various directions. Whilst we are proposing a Christian faith foundation to the conversation, not all the conversation partners will necessarily profess faith.

The matters under discussion over the four nights will be dealing with the past, flags and emblems, a shared future and victims, although you won’t necessarily recognise that immediately. At the close of each night however, we plan on having explored these themes from the perspective of our faith tradition in ways which will help our practice, reflection, understanding, preaching and all the other ways in which we seek to live authentically Christian lives in this conflicted place.

Each night will begin at 7pm and conclude by 9pm. The events are free, but a donation towards expenses will be appreciated.

Organisers include Glenn Jordan of Skainos, University of Ulster Professor Duncan Morrow, local historian Philip Orr, and poet and group worker Pádraig O’Tuama.

Register your interest in the discussions at:

* The name Skainos is derived from the biblical greek word meaning tent


Gladys is a Research Fellow in the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast. She also blogs on religion and politics at