Inspired to Act – Exploring Faith-Based Peacebuilding | Thrive Ireland

Thrive Ireland | NICRC

Inspired to Act is an inspirational Good Relations Podcast developed by Thrive Ireland. Its ethos is to inspire and reinvigorate vision and practice in peacebuilding in the faith sector in Northern Ireland.

The project was supported by the Community Relations Council through its CR/CD Small Grants Scheme.

The podcast series, comprised of eight episodes, is intended to stimulate new thinking and engagement in peacebuilding initiatives and has interviewed four local and four global peacebuilders.

Making a huge difference

Diane Holt, director at Thrive Ireland, hopes the series can make a huge difference to local peacebuilders by helping to inspire them with local and global practitioners.

“Thrive Ireland is a relatively new and small Christian organisation who want to make a big difference,” Diane said. “As their Director I have had the privilege of working with peacebuilders in East and South Africa and learning from some amazing examples in Rwanda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.”

Diane also believes that stories of faith-based peacebuilding work in Northern Ireland quite often go unheard. 

“Storytelling is so captivating,” Diane explained, “and we wanted to bring stories of inspiring but ordinary people from both the wider world and Northern Ireland. I wanted to hear what it was that inspired these ordinary people to do some extraordinary things.”

Podcasting is a Powerful Medium

Diane has recognised that podcasting is a powerful medium for widening their ogranisation’s storytelling venture. And she utilised the experience of Will Leitch, who had worked in broadcast and journalism.

“We thought long and hard about sustaining the series,” Will said. “Many podcasters start well but run out of steam a few episodes in. Then their audience melts away. The issue is to have enough to say to keep producing the podcast again and again and again.”

Will also emphasised how important it was to think about production quality, experience and judgement, and the overall tone.

He said: “It is the experience and instinct of an experienced producer that helps us get the tone and sense of each episode just right.”

Choosing the Right Themes

The themes of the podcast range from issues such as legacy of the past, remembering and memorial, personal reconciliation, and many more. 

“Because of some of my work in partnership with the International Development Agency, Tearfund, I have been working alongside clergy from the Diocese of Jerusalem,” Diane said. “The Diocese takes in the countries of Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. At this time of war in Israel and Gaza, we felt that it would be helpful to hear directly from Church Leaders in Israel and on the West Bank. So we recorded a podcast episode with the Vicar of Nazareth and the Vicar of Nablus. It gives real insight into the challenges and realities and multiple identities of Christians in the region. From discussions with people following the episode, I think some misconceptions were broken down.”

Important Considerations for Success

Diane highlighted that there were several important considerations necessary for a successful project.

“To be honest, we could not have done it without the CRC funding,” Diane said, “and even at that I underestimated the costs. We needed a consultant to help us produce and present a professional Podcast. Podcast hosting was vital for the Podcast to upload to all the usual places where people listen.”

The project necessitated many hours of input from Diane and several other supporters:

“But without the initial CRC funding,” she said, “Inspired to Act would still be a dream!”

Listen to the Podcast

You can listen to the podcast series here: