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The annual meeting of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s (PCI) General Assembly will open on the evening of Wednesday 21st June and close on the afternoon of Saturday 24th June.

The Opening Night will also see the election and installation of Rev Dr Sam Mawhinney as Moderator, the Church’s principal public representative. The minister of Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church in Dublin will be the first minister from a congregation in the Republic of Ireland to hold the Church’s highest office in nearly a quarter of a century.

Bringing together Presbyterians from across the country, Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly, explained that upwards of 1,000 ministers, elders and others are entitled to attend from the denomination’s 500-plus congregations, along with overseas representatives of PCI’s partner churches and organisations from around the world.

This year will be Mr Gribben’s ninth General Assembly as Clerk and he is looking forward to a busy and productive week. “The General Assembly is a coming together of people the length and breadth of this island of ours. As we meet in General Assembly, we do so not just to take decisions that will affect the life and ministry of our Church in the coming months and years, we come together to worship, to pray, and to bring glory to Christ in all that we do.”

Mr Gribben continued, “For the first time since the year 2000 our Assembly will be chaired by a Moderator who is from a congregation in the Republic of Ireland and I look forward to Dr Mawhinney’s Opening Address to us on the Wednesday evening and to working with him.”

Starting at 7.00pm that Wednesday, Right Reverend Dr John Kirkpatrick, will take his leave as PCI’s Moderator and reflect in his address on his year in office. The service of worship, which will be attended by civic guests and members of the public, will also be live streamed.

Mr Gribben continued, “Over the last few years members have discussed a range of issues that have required further wide-ranging discussion and debate within the Church itself. Having consulted and reviewed responses from our 19 regional presbyteries, the General Assembly will be making final decisions on a range of important church related issues. This is perhaps why the ‘Blue Book’, which contains the General Assembly reports and resolutions that members will discuss, is 416 pages this year. Over 140 pages longer than 2022’s, it is one of the largest in recent memory. So it will be a busy and important few days.

“As we come together from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, joining as one to worship the risen Lord Jesus, it is always a special and precious time. This year worship will take place on Wednesday’s Opening Night, on Thursday afternoon at 12.15pm and during the General Assembly Communion Service, which will be held on Friday at 11.45am. Everyone is welcome,” Mr Gribben said.

The Assembly’s popular Evening Celebration will take place on Thursday evening at 7.45pm. Led by PCI’s new Moderator, the speaker will be Rev Jonty Rhodes, founding pastor of Christ Church Central, a relatively new church plant in Leeds, which is part of the International Presbyterian Church.

As in previous years, the 2023 General Assembly will have what has become one of the highlights of the annual meeting, the informal presentation ‘Listening to the Global Church’. Organised by PCI’s Council for Global Mission, it will involve some of the overseas guests who will be attending the General Assembly and will take place on Friday afternoon.

Mr Gribben concluded by saying, “As we carry on making plans for this year’s General Assembly, and indeed throughout our meeting later this month, we will continue to seek God’s guidance and His grace, as we look forward to the time that we will have together.”

Members of the public are welcome to attend the public gallery for the Opening Night, the other worship times and of course the main business sessions, which start at 10.00am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. Full details of all business and other information can be found at where most of the Assembly’s proceedings will be livestreamed. They can also be followed on Twitter @pciassembly using the hashtag #pciga23.


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