Presbyterians keep finances in good shape

Irish Presbyterian congregations have been praised for their generosity and steadfastness during the challenging lockdown periods of the covid pandemic in 2002-21.

By Billy Kennedy
Saturday, 25th June 2022, 11:06 am
Updated Saturday, 25th June 2022, 11:12 am

Reports at the church’s General Assembly in Belfast this week confirmed that monies paid by the 500-plus congregations to the key administrative Presbyterian ‘United Appeal’ stood up well in comparison with previous years, with £3,015,185 received, just under the £3,300,000 expected.

Despite the shortfall, church treasurers acknowledge that the amount received was still a “highly significant” response by congregations in the midst of another challenging year, as in 2020, largely dominated by the impact of the covid pandemic.

The Irish Presbyterian Church’s ‘United Appeal’ is used to annually fund ‘Mission in Ireland,’ global mission, congregational life and witness, training in church ministry at Union theological college in Belfast, and general social witness.

The outgoing Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (left) Very Rev Dr David Bruce, shakes hands with his successor and Moderator of the all-Ireland denomination for 2022-2023, Right Reverend Dr John Kirkpatrick.

‘Mission in Ireland’ last year received £724,500, global mission £1,061,500, congregational life and witness £402,000, ministry training £412,500 and social witness £224.500, totalling almost three million pounds.

The church’s 2022 ‘United Appeal’ is estimated to be on the £3,6million figure, with outlay in the stipulated segments expected to cost £3,525,000. Looking ahead, the 2023 figure will be in the same range of revenus and expendtiture.

Presbyterian congregations, who administer their own finances at a local level including ministerial stipends and church maintenance as well as outreach, are levied centrally by Church House in Belfast through the ‘Union Appeal’ system, on the basis of membership, with set amounts confirmed a year in advance.

* The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has 27 full-time global mission workers, operating in 12 regions - Brazil, Central and Southern Africa, the United KIngdom, Hungary, Kenya, Spain, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Zambia.