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About Our Church

Our Story

Our church family worships and serves God in Gilnahirk on the outskirts of East Belfast. The origins of the congregation go back to 1759 when six men signed the lease for the ground on which the church currently stands.  We value the intergenerational nature of our congregation and extend a warm welcome to everyone. We seek to serve the community around us and we enjoy positive relationships with the other churches and schools in the area.  


Meet our Staff

Kirk Session

The Kirk Session (which means 'church meeting') gives spiritual leadership to the congregation. It is made up of the Minister who is also the ‘Teaching Elder’ and a number of ‘Ruling Elders’ chosen by the congregation. The Kirk Session makes prayerful decisions on the congregation's priorities, oversees the various church groups and activities, ensures pastoral care is provided to the members of the congregation, has responsibility for the Sacraments and takes leadership in serving both the church family and the local community.

There are 22 men and women serving on our Kirk Session:

Andrew Kerr

Audrey Smallwood

Carol Anderson

Colin McRoberts

David Mark

David McDonald

Heather Taylor (Clerk of Session)

Hilary Gowdy

Hilary Morrow

Johnston Morrow

Judith Morrow

Julie-May Noteman

Malcolm Strain

Michael Picken

Patricia Gowdy

Rachel Toland

Ricky Patterson

Roberta Patterson

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jordan

Susan Rocke

William Smyth 

Kirk Session Teams



The Worship Team is responsible for overseeing and coordinating worship and praise within the life of our church.

Volunteers Packing Food


The Outreach Team aims to develop the witness of our church and faith in the wider community and throughout the world.

Image by Ben White


The Discipleship Team is responsible for helping members of our congregation enhance their relationship with God and our service to Him. 

Image by Ben White


The Prayer Team aims to promote and encourage prayer throughout our congregation.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Pastoral Care

The Pastoral Care team is responsible for all areas of fellowship and support within the congregation. 

Image by Luana Azevedo

Youth & Family

The Youth & Family Team promotes and oversees service among our young people and youth organisations. 

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Congregational Committee

The Committee serves an important set of purposes within the congregation and they are reflected in the titles of the 9 subcommittees: Finance, Property Maintenance, House, Reception, Newsletter, Catering, ICT (Information, Communication & Technology), Hall Letting / Health & Safety, Church Grounds & Graveyard.

There are 28 men and women serving on our Congregational Committee: 

Andrew Davidson

Barbara Anderson

Carol Noble 

David Corbett

Donald Eakin

Edna Caldwell

George Coates

Gillian Hamill

Janitha Gray

Jennie Cahoon

Jill Kerry

John Cummings

Jonny McRoberts

Joy Mark

Lynda Casement

Mark Blundell

Martin Childs

Michael Thompson

Paul Blundell

Paul Gray

Rab Toland

Richard Montgomery

Stephen Chambers

Suzanne Hanna

Thelma Jackson

William Noteman

United Appeal

The United Appeal for Mission is at the very heart of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Every aspect of the Church's mission depends to some extent on United Appeal. It supports projects, programmes and staff at home and overseas. It helps congregations and individuals to build God’s Kingdom through youth and children’s ministry, social action and the training of leaders, for example.

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We belong to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, which is one branch of the worldwide Christian family.  

The word 'Presbyterian' itself describes the form of Church government, which emphasises the individual and corporate responsibility of members. Ministers and members share in the organising and running of every aspect of the Church's work. 

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