Northern Ireland Protocol, abortion, Troubles legacy bill, hate crime, Covid - General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland meets to discuss issues of the day

Leaders from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will meet tonight in person for the first time since 2019 to reflect on how the church coped with the pandemic and to discuss many of the moral issues being debated in society.

By Philip Bradfield
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 12:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 9:53 am

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland - the all-Ireland denomination’s principal decision-making and governing body - meets in Assembly Buildings, Belfast from 22-25 June.

Among the issues to be discussed are the state of devolution and the Secretary of State’s moves to bypass Stormont and decriminalinse abortion in Northern Ireland, together with his stated plans to take control of parts of the school curriculum in order to start teaching children about abortion.

Other issues to be debated are the government’s plans to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, the cost of living crisis, The Northern Ireland Protocol, the reform of education north and south and plans to legislate for hate crime in NI.

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Race chaplin the Rev John Kirkpatrick and his race team assistant chaplins Pastor Edwin Ewart and the Rev Noel Agnew on the Armoy road race start grid.

Rev Dr John Kirkpatrick of Portrush Presbyterian Church will be elected as the 177th moderator of the church.

Thursday evening will see the keynote address given by the Evangelical Alliance’s UK Director Peter Lynas.

“As the Evangelical Alliance’s UK director, and before that the director of EA in Northern Ireland, many people will know Peter from his appearances on local media,” Rev Kirkpatrick said. “I look forward to him bringing a wider perspective to our theme, while I will give a short reflection. You don’t need a ticket and all are welcome.”

Around 1,000 ministers and ruling elders from the Church’s 500-plus congregations across Ireland are eligible to participate in its 26 scheduled sessions that will involve over 70 resolutions.

On Thursday morning, the assembly will hear from overseas reformed church representatives from Hungary, North India, Malawi and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

PCI is one of the largest churches in Ireland and the largest Protestant, or Reformed’ denomination in Northern Ireland.

On Friday, the Congregational Life & Witness’s (CCLW) will present an hour-long alternative presentation entitled ‘The Turning of the tide on how congregations are emerging from the pandemic, with stories focusing on pastoral care, discipleship and leadership for this season.

The assembly is livestreamed at www.presbyterianireland.org/ga22

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