All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Historical, Horror

The Perfect Personification Of Religion by Hugh Cron


“You expect me to speak to the Archbishop? Your ideas are somewhat radical Father. For you to get on in your career you need to know how to play the game.”

“Radical? I don’t see it that way Your Grace. I think we could do a lot of good. We would build bridges. We could now bring together two sides once and for all. We need to do this, not just with our religions but with them all! But we can start with what we know.”

“So where would you be wanting to post this, this, image?”

“Every Chapel. But we first approach the Protestant Churches. Hopefully when they see what we are doing and are trying to achieve, they will co-ordinate with us. Think Your Grace, we would have a joint image, the same words within all our Chapels and Churches. We would be sharing the same message.”

“Christianity is the same message!”

“With all due respect it is, but that has been torn apart by interpretation and borders. I do believe that this could unite.”

“…And where would you want to start? Ireland I suppose?”

“No. I want to involve every Chapel in the world at the same time, no test approach.”

“Well, I take it that’s better than just going for the Paddies! They would have a field day with that!”

“The image is from there, but the message can be universal. Those poor souls died because of religion.”

“That’s bullshit boy! They died because of who they were and where they were. It was a case of them being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“With the greatest of respect Your Grace, murder is murder and we didn’t help. There was never any refusal of confession. There was no refusal of absolution. There was no refusal of the last rites to murderers. I’m not saying that this would have made any difference, but if it even deterred one, it would have been worth it. We need to spread the word of our Gods…”


“Yes! Our. And we need to be brutal with consequence if the word is being fucked with. We can make a start by doing this.”

“And are you criticising our doctrine?”

“Not at all Your Grace, I am only stating the way it is.”

“…OK run me through what you want on this…poster.”

“The image of course and then just a few words – ‘The Perfect Personification Of Religion. These men were assassinated because of their beliefs…”

“Really? Don’t you think that is our first problem? They will argue that was not the case.”

“I have deliberately used ‘beliefs’, it doesn’t only mean religion! And I wanted to use ‘murder’ but I reckon that assassination would be a badge of honour for those who thought that way. I need to appease to get them to think.”

“Manipulation of words Father, is very dangerous, go on.”

“’The Perfect Personification Of Religion’. These men died because of their beliefs. They were given Last Rites by Father Alec Reid as a final act. An act of kindness. An act of humanity. An act of loyalty and brotherhood to his fellow men. And an acceptance of what happened was so very wrong. Go in peace to your fellow men and let this image never be repeated.’

“You didn’t mention the soldiers names.”

“Do you know them Your Grace?”

“Don’t push it boy!”

“I wanted to mention David Howes and Derek Wood. But I thought that you would go for it more if I didn’t. And it opens discussion.”

“What discussion?”

“As I already said, we go to the Protestant Church leaders and show them this. We point out they could do the same and name the soldiers and leave Father Reid out. But then we would be the bigger religion by suggesting that we all use both names.”

“The bigger religion! That’s quite funny.”

“I do know how to play the game Your Grace.”

…An extract from The Guardian Website 15.04.17

Father Alec Reid Obituary.


 …for Reid one violent Saturday morning in 1988 after two undercover corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, blundered into the cortege of an IRA funeral. Immediately their car was surrounded by a mob and the soldiers were overpowered. Moments later they were stripped, beaten and taken to nearby waste ground where they were coldly shot dead. Reid witnessed the fracas and made frantic but unsuccessful efforts to find a local IRA figure of sufficient stature to intervene and save the soldiers. In the end all he could do was kneel over their bodies and give the last rites. The resulting stark images remain among the most horrific of the Northern Irelandconflict


Hugh Cron

Image – Belfast Telegraph (Ivan Little) Nov 23rd 2013

9 thoughts on “The Perfect Personification Of Religion by Hugh Cron”

    1. Thanks Dave,
      There are so many horrific memories and images from this time in British History. It was actually quite refreshing for me to write something positive regarding this.
      Thanks as always my friend.


  1. Hugh, you can be proud of this beautiful contribution to the noble effort to, against the odds, brng peace on earth. Best wishes, June


    1. Thanks June.
      Unfortunately we talk and write about peace when we are still experience mayhem and death.
      Thanks as always. You continue to make me smile!


  2. I will not detract from the gravity of the serious topic by trying to grab it in a few words. I know the photo, it is beautiful. As to the writing, spot on use of only dialogue to convey the ideas. Ancient philosophical technique that is so much harder to do than you think. Done well, here.


  3. Very powerful and poignant Hugh. I remember the deaths of these soldiers in my youth, and the TV footage of the taxi cab boxing their car in and the mob encircling them are scenes nobody with a semblance of humanity forgets. The best writing has no fear of grabbing us by the lapels and forcing us to stare into the darkness.


    1. Thanks so much Titus.
      I think anyone who saw this unfolding on the news was left with it. I did my best to do something positive.
      Alec Reid had some bottle and his humanity is a lesson to us all.
      All the very best my friend.


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