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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK
Clergy urged to 'reduce tension'
Rev David Clarke
Dr David Clarke is the new Presbyterian moderator
The new moderator of the Presbyterian Church has called on the clergy to play a greater role in trying to bring communities together.

Speaking before his installation on Monday, Dr David Clarke said the situation in his home town of Ballymena caused him great sadness.

"The tension that is there is unmistakeable and has had tragic results recently," he said.

Dr Clarke called on church leaders to work hard to reduce that tension.

"Church leaders and local clergy have to do all they can to reduce tension and to encourage people that, while we may differ from others in terms of political or religious views, they nevertheless are people who need to be respected," Dr Clarke said.

Dr Clarke, from Terrace Row Church in Coleraine, was nominated by 14 out of the 21 Presbyteries who voted.

He is married with two daughters.

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