Lecture: The Reverend Bill Shaw, OBE

The Reverend Bill Shaw, OBE, director of the 174 Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland, delivers the lecture, “Walking in the Shoes of the Other”- Peace & Reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Date: November 9, 2017 - November 9, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Basil 135

Sponsored by the William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Religious Studies.

The Reverend Bill Shaw, OBE

Bill Shaw is a Presbyterian minister from North Belfast, Northern Ireland, who grew up in the Loyalist (Protestant) area of that city. He graduated from Queen’s University in Belfast and became a minister in 1989, during the time of “The Troubles,” when violence between Catholics and Protestants was constant. The Reverend Shaw came to see that “as a Christian, the primary role is to be a peacemaker.”

He became the director of the 174 Trust, a non-denominational community-based organization in one of the most divided and disadvantaged areas of North Belfast. Situated in the middle of “Murder Mile,” where more than 20 percent of all murders related to the Troubles occurred, the Trust is committed to “Building Peace and Promoting Reconciliation” in what continues to be a divided—and at times violent—society.

During his lecture, Bill will address the recent Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and its implications for the cause of peace in Northern Ireland.

As a Presbyterian working in a Catholic area, Bill is committed to fostering an inclusive, non-threatening, and neutral environment for hundreds of individuals and groups of all ages and faiths to access programs ranging from preschool to senior citizens. The 174 Trust carries out its mission through a number of projects, encouraging dialogue and celebrating diversity within the North Belfast community. To honor the work that he has done to facilitate peaceful collaboration, Bill has been a guest of the President of the United States at the White House on St. Patrick’s Day in March 2005, and was recently awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II at a service in Buckingham palace for “services to the community of North Belfast.”  In 2015, Ulster University awarded Bill an Honorary Doctorate and invited him to give the address at its graduation ceremony.

Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by the William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Religious Studies at St. John Fisher College.  For further information, please contact Tim Madigan at: tmadigan@sjfc.edu.