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Tributes are paid to founder of Corrymeela community

Tributes are paid to founder of Corrymeela community

TRIBUTES have been paid to the founder of the Corrymeela Community, Rev. Ray Davey, who has passed away aged 97.

The Presbyterian minister founded the Christian reconciliation centre, which is based in Ballycastle, in 1965 in an effort to heal the religious and political divisions within Northern Ireland.

Dr. Davey led the community until his retirement in 1980.

It was his experiences during the Second World War, in which he served as an Army chaplain, that strengthened and shaped Dr. Davey’s determination to build bridges between people of different viewpoints and beliefs. 

At one point during his war service in North Africa he had set up a spiritual centre in Tobruk. Following his capture, Dr. Davey was held in a prisoner of war camp near Dresden where he witnessed the Allied bombing of the city.

Following the war, Dr. Davey returned to Belfast where served as a Presbyterian chaplain at Queen’s University from 1946 until 1970. 

He regarded the Corrymeela centre as his “healing place” and over the years saw it develop into a community which has been visited by thousands of people. 

Among those to pay tribute to Dr. Davey was the leader of the Alliance party, David Ford, who had been a staff volunteer at Corrymeela after he left universtiy.

He said: “Ray was a man with a vision for a transformed and reconciled Northern Ireland, but he was not just a visionary as he put that vision into practise in his work as a chaplain at Queen’s University and as founder of Corrymeela.

“He was a huge inspiration to many of us who are working for peace and reconciliation, whether in politics, the church or community organisations.”

Trevor Ringland, the chair of the peace-building One Small Step Campaign, also paid tribute.

He said: “One of the reasons our society died not break down was because of the work people like Ray Davey did. It is sad that he has died but his legacy will live on.”

Dr. Davey’s Funeral took place on Friday, April 20. For full details see below.

View the Notice for Rev. Dr. Ray Davey.


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