The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr Ian McNie, has issued the following statement in support of the Church of England’s advert promoting the Lord’s Prayer, after he attended the Belfast City Council’s Prayer Breakfast with councillors and representatives of various churches today.
“This morning’s Prayer Breakfast highlighted once again the importance of prayer as we prayed for the city, its people and elected representatives at different levels of government. This event was in stark contrast to the banning of the Church of England’s advert promoting the Lord’s Prayer, in cinemas in the run up to Christmas.
“I would want to congratulate the Church of England on its initiative to promote the Lord’s Prayer in this way, a prayer that was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This prayer is used daily by billions of people throughout our world as a prayer thanking God for who He is, and the seeking of personal guidance and forgiveness for our lives in a fractured and turbulent world.
“Undoubtedly many Christians will be dismayed by this decision, although not surprised. However, it is my prayer that this negative initial response from the advertising company will be turned into a positive appreciation and understanding of the importance of prayer. This decision takes on a more poignant meaning, especially at this time of year as we approach Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who encouraged us to pray in this way.”
Dr McNie has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury congratulating him on this initiative and the rationale behind it.