Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Belfast

updated on 30 March 2019


Irish Presbyterianism had its origins in Scottish migrations to Ulster in the early seventeenth century. The first presbytery was formed in 1642 by chaplains of a Scottish army which had come to Ireland because of an Irish Catholic rebellion. In spite of this and later Catholic uprisings and the hostility of the established Anglican Church, Presbyterianism put down strong roots in Ireland before the end of the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century it was weakened by emigration to colonial America and by division over subscription to the Westminster formularies, which encouraged Scottish Convenanters and Seceders to form congregations and presbyteries in Ulster. The restoration of subscription in 1835 led to union with the Seceders to form the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

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Today the Irish Presbyterian Church, which is a founder member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, has over 560 congregations in 21 presbyteries throughout Ireland with over 300, 000 members. The Church has been much involved in education, evangelism, social service and world mission in India, China, the Middle East, Jamaica, Africa, Indonesia, Nepal and Brazil. In our Christian worship, the preaching of the Word of God is central, in a setting of prayer and praise. There is no fixed liturgy. Prayers and hymns, psalms and paraphrases, Scripture reading and sermon are adapted to the needs of the occasion. The word 'Presbyterian' describes the form of our Church government which emphasises the individual and corporate responsibility of members.
Ministers and members must share in the organising and running of every aspect of the Church's work. Locally this means the provision of worship and teaching along with pastoral care while the corporate work of the Church involves social action, evangelism, mission at home and overseas, training of ministers and working with young people and children. The best test of our Church and its members lies in what their faith compels them to do for others, not just what has been done for them as individuals. The King and Head of the Church loved us and gave Himself for us so that we should no longer live for ourselves. We are called to service.
The Church's administrative centre is in Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast and the present General Secretary is the Rev. Dr. Donald Watts.
Youth Club, Youth Groups, Youth Activities, Community Groups, Church, Places of Worship, Religious Organisations, Sanctuary, House of Prayer, Religious Groups, Church Groups
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