Monday 23 April 2018

I voted in favour of gay marriage in the referendum

Victoria Johnston (26), Service-goer at Kilternan Church of Ireland Church, Co Dublin

'It makes me sad that more people of my age don't reach out for God's love': Victoria Johnston.
'It makes me sad that more people of my age don't reach out for God's love': Victoria Johnston.
John Meagher

John Meagher

Even at a young age, Dubliner Victoria Johnston was aware that she was born into a Christian tradition that was removed from the prevailing church in the country and she says her devotion to the Church of Ireland has been unwavering.

"I'm a really big believer in the power of prayer," she says. "I feel that God is always listening to me." Her faith in prayer is such that she believes her rugby-playing cousin, who was sick as a baby, was aided to full health thanks to the prayer group her extended family had formed around him.

She finds great solace in her local church, at Kilternan, south county Dublin, but notes that at 26 she is one of the younger members of the congregation.

"The odd time, there might be someone my age there, but usually attendees are much older. It makes me sad that more people of my generation don't reach out for God's love. Some of my friends have lost their faith and others haven't been brought up to view God as love."

Victoria studied music at college and now sings in an a cappella group. She also works at the Dublin-based Spirit Radio, the country's only Christian radio station. "To me music, family and faith are the most important things in my life."

She says she has had conversations with her boyfriend about religion - he grew up Catholic - but insists that while her faith is strong "and I'd never hide it", she respects other viewpoints and those without faith.

She baulks at the notion that her devotion is likely to make her always take a conservative line. "I voted in favour of gay marriage in the referendum," she points out. "I was convinced it was the right thing to do."

And she is adamant that abortion should be permitted in some circumstances. "For something like incestual rape, it is not fair that the woman has to continue with a pregnancy."

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