A PRESBYTERIAN minister who is to quit Northern Ireland after a row over his friendship with the local Catholic curate, said this week that he was relieved to be leaving.
The Rev David Armstrong, minister at Limavady, Co Londonderry, is coming to Oxford in May to work at St Aldate's Church and to study at Wycliffe College.
His departure follows a consistent campaign of abuse from members of his congregation who objected to his exchanging Christmas greetings with Fr Kevin Mullan a close neighbour. The two churchmen also went to America in March to promote Christian unity.
The Rev Armstrong said he was leaving with sorrow for the large majority of his congregation, but with a sense of relief that he would be sparing his wife and family from more abuse.
"I do not think Limavady is any different from any other rural area in Northern Ireland", he said. "If I had been ministering elsewhere I am sure I would have found the same problems."
"There seems to be a spirit of confrontation in our country. People are not going to be happy unless they have a victory".