Membership of other bodies
As part of the one Church of Jesus Christ, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has much to receive from and give to the wider church.
The Presbyterian Church In Ireland was a founder member of The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (which later became the World Communion of Reformed Churches in 2010); the United Council of Christian Churches and Religious Communities in Ireland founded in 1922 (which later became The Irish Council of Churches in 1966); the British Council of Churches which was formed in 1942; and the World Council of Churches’ first Assembly which was held in Amsterdam in 1948. PCI is also a member of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE).
In 1980, PCI left the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the General Assembly declined to join the new British Council of Churches in 1989 with 327 votes for and 453 votes against.
Membership of the WCRC offers opportunities to stand in solidarity with reformed churches including those in much less favourable circumstances than PCI. This is with a view to learn from them and with them and to speak to governments and the United Nations with a united and prophetic voice alongside churches and people without a voice. In 2010, Rev. Cheryl Meban of PCI was appointed as one of four European representatives on the WCRC Executive Committee.
Being part of the Irish Council of Churches helps to develop a voice for Ireland’s churches to connect with each other.
A Church Relations Committee under the General Board meets to discuss matters of such memberships and work through areas of common concern.
Inter-church co-operation in Ireland is exemplified by the ‘alternating ministry scheme’ which the Presbyterian and Methodist churches have operated in some locations in the south of Ireland since the 1970s.