Newry.ie

 

 

 

DIVERSE CITY

Celebrating Newry's new residents and our new neighbours.

A new permanant section on Newry.ie brought to you with the support of the Community Relations Council

 

The sound of music can be heard on the Belfast Road every Saturday night.

Many of Newry's small but growing Romanian community gather each weekend at Altnaveigh House for their weekly church service.

They are a congregation of the Romanian Pentecostal church and, like many religions, music plays a huge part in their services.

The Service in progress at Altnaveigh House. Photograph: NewRayPics.com
The Romanian Pentecostal Service in progress at Altnaveigh House. Photograph: NewRayPics.com

The Church - the only Romanian service currently in Newry - has been operating here for four months - and numbers are swelling.

It is led by Pastor Gaspar Covaciu.

He has been a minister for 20 years, continuing his ministry when he arrived in Newry three years ago.

''The people that come here, the families, have no benefits, no nothing, and we try to help them,'' said Pastor Gaspar.

''But there is no room here. We need bigger premises, more room, because our numbers are growing.''

Stugureu Lovaciu, an interpreter for the pastor, said the church is a vital facility for the small but growing number of Romanian families living in the Newry area.

''Most of the people of Romania, maybe 90 per cent, is Christian,'' he said.

''The church helps everyone and that's why our numbers are growing here.''

Stugureu said many people from Romania left their homeland due to a lack of money and medicine.

Like most immigrants, they came in search of a better quality of life.

While he acknowledges the language barrier presents huge difficulties, he said he feels his community have been largely welcomed by the people of Newry.

Teofil Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com
Teofil Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com

''People are friendly,'' he says.

''I find very little racism. It is good here.''

Teenager and church member, Florin Covaciu, said his faith and his church is of upmost importance to him.

''Church is important because everybody loves God and everybody needs God,'' he said.

''We meet each other, our families, and we sing together, which is important. Singing is everything.''

He added: ''We are Christian. We don't smoke, we don't drink, we don't take drugs. We are good men.''

A 14-year-old student at Newry High School, Florin said he feels at home in his new surroundings.

''Newry is so good,'' added Florin.

''Some people, not everyone, say things about me being from Romania. It isn't nice, but it doesn't make me sad. It happens. We get on with it. Not everybody is like that.''

Florin still has family at home.

He misses them, but is happy here as he wants to learn to become a mechanic, an opportunity that may not be available to him at home.

But he says the Romanian community settled here still need more help.

Pastor Gaspar Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com
Pastor Gaspar Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com

''We need more space,'' he added.

Teofil Covaciu, the son of Pastor Gaspar, also attends nearby Newry High School.

The 14-year-old said he is enjoying school life.

''My favourite subject is mechanics,'' says Teo.

''I want to be a mechanic when I grow up.''

He said life can be difficult for a teenager living away from home, but he added: ''I like Newry. This is my home now.''

 

Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Pastor Gaspar Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Worshippers at the Romanian Pentecostal Church service in Newry. Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Teofil Covaciu. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Teenager with church member, Florin Covaciu, Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Pastor Gaspar Covaciu  and Gheorghe Seres at the Service. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Friends at the Romanian Church service. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Pictured in Altnaveigh House at the PEntecostal Church Service. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - The Service in progress at Altnaveigh House. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - Children at Altnaveigh House for the Romanian Pentecostal Church Service. Photograph: NewRayPics.com Romanian Pentecostal Church in Newry - The Prayer Service underway at Altnaveigh House. Photograph: NewRayPics.com

Pin It

DIVERSE CITY VIDEO

David Olara - Diverse City
David Olara - Diverse City

David Olara from Uganda has moved to the South Down town of Warrenpoint and here he speaks of how he has adjusted to the relocation.

Alice Martins Ruas - Diverse City
Alice Martins Ruas - Diverse City

Portugal born Alice Martins Ruas talks about her experiences moving to Newry and her time at Our Lady’s Grammar School in the city.

Ewa Gorzelak-Deska - Diverse City
Ewa Gorzelak-Deska - Diverse City

Ewa Gorzelak-Deska from Zawiercie in Poland talks about her life in Newry after moving here in 2016.

DONATE

Please consider supporting Newry.ie

Amount:
Newry.ie require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using Newry.ie you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.
More information Ok