It was a cool privilege a few days ago to carry some special people in my crumbling wreck of a car.
I transported John Perkins and Bob and Peggy Lupton from the centre of Belfast to conference HQ at Farset.
John Perkins is…well…John Perkins. And Bob Lupton is a man who inspired me back in 1991 on a visit to Atlanta. A collegue and I saw his work then in the Grant Park area of the city and returned to it some 10 years later to see its lasting impact. John has been a long-time advisor, friend and inspiration in the work of reclaiming the streets. His idea of re-neighbouring has transformed the lives of countless inner city communities in Atlanta and further afield.
And it was a pleasure to welcome his new(-ish) wife Peggy to Belfast for the first time. Guinness in the midst of the clamour and music at the John Hewitt was special.
On that car journey Bob told of how as a younger man, disillusioned with work in the city he visited John Perkins and spent 3 days with him, leaving rejuvenated for a task to which he has given his life. It suddenly occurred to me that for me the ‘family’ ties gave me a connection to John Perkins in Jackson MS.
So when we arrived at Farset I wanted to capture the moment in a photo. The fourth member of the group is John Dunlop, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, a sharp-witted and thoughtful maverick of sorts who has played a strong role in our own developing peace process over the years.