SOAPBOX: Why Presbyterians should support same-sex marriage

SOAPBOX: Andrew Deaney argues that it is time that Presbyterians did unto others regarding support for same-sex marriage as they wished the Church of Ireland had done unto them in the 18th century when Presbyterian marriages weren’t recognised by the state.

SOAPBOX: A Cry from the Heart

232 Presbyterian ministers and elders respond to decisions taken at June 2018’s General Assembly with a statement – ’A Cry from the Heart‘: As teaching and ruling elders in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, we acknowledge, and indeed share, the profound sense of hurt, dismay and anger currently being expressed in the wake of decisions taken at our 2018 General Assembly. This level of feeling is unprecedented in our pastoral experience …

Presbyterian Church stops short of endorsing but supports principle of “conscience” bill, calls for reasonable accommodation & debate

Yesterday, Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor was part of a delegation that met Paul Givan and others in the DUP to discuss the “Conscience Clause” Private Members Bill. Tonight the Presbyterian Church’s Council for Church in Society (the body within the denomination authorised to deliberate and speak on matters of public policy) has published their 22-point response to the consultation. The full text and accompanying statement is on the denomination’s website. The Council’s document is broadly in …

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Human Rights, Equality, and a call for a generous grace …

Does Northern Ireland need a Bill of Rights? Is Equality a Biblical value? Are human rights all about me? These were some of the questions addressed at today’s The Church in the Public Square conference organised by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Focussing on the topics of Equality, Freedom and Religion it it was perhaps appropriate that as delegates arrived the music wafting up from the Spires shopping arcade underneath the conference venue was “I can’t get no satisfaction”!   …

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PCI conference – Church in the Public Square – Roger Trigg, Colin Harvey, Michael Wardlow (Thu 9 Oct)

I’m firmly of the belief that churches deserve to be in the public square, but they need to take the initiative to elbow their way into the crowded agora and have something worthwhile to say. While peace and reconciliation efforts were made both at grassroots and denominational levels, over the last 40 years some inconvenient issues were ignored. There is much that the church could challenge, holding up Gospel values against Executive policies nevermind Executive politics. It’s good to see …

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Churches bringing warmth to the public square & Attorney General John Larkin taking exception to Supreme Court judgement against Christian B&B owners

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland organised a conference yesterday looking at the Church in the Public Square. [Ed – not a new idea.] Two to three hundred people attended: ministers (both clerical and political), laity, as well as representatives from many organisations and faiths. Audio of the three keynote speakers is now available on the PCI website, and I’ll follow-up with a post over on Alan in Belfast in a day or two. In the meantime some snippets that might …

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“Those with the least capacity to suffer cuts should not be made to suffer more.”

We want to respectfully challenge those who hold authority in civil society to act with justice and to show compassion to those most in need. Those with the least capacity to suffer cuts should not be made to suffer more. Those were the words of Cardinal Brady at an event tonight looking at welfare reform in Northern Ireland involving the main church leaders along with the Secretary of State Owen Paterson and Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland. The evening was …

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“Reconfiguring the relationship between the church and wider society”

Norman Hamilton going down the stairs

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Dr Norman Hamilton – the outgoing moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland – called for “the reconfiguring of the proper relationship between the church and wider society”, while the moderator designate Dr Ivan Patterson said he “would welcome” the invitation of Cardinal Brady to the opening night of the General Assembly. After twelve months in the role, Norman Hamilton has seen a lot of church and state: chairing boards and committees; acting as the denomination’s …

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