Youth Assembly 2018: Passionate Presbyterians

Helen Hooks and Niamh Rankin

10.1.2018 | Congregational Life, Youth & Children

In this joint blog, Helen Hooks and Niamh Rankin describe what will be explored at this year’s Youth Assembly which takes place next month, and encourage other young Presbyterians to take part to make sure their voice is heard within the church.

This time last year we were in the final stages of planning for our ‘Big Gathering’, where we had over 100 delegates from all the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) coming together in Assembly Buildings in Belfast. Encouraged by the conversations last year we got our heads together as a team to explore other issues that we would love to address as young people within our denomination.

Through our involvement in the Youth Assembly, commonly known as SPUD, we have found so much that PCI offers to us as young people to be thankful for, so we are so excited to be hosting the 2018 Youth Assembly in less than a month’s time. It will take place on Saturday, 10th February and will give us a chance to share all of this. This year is also going to be a little different and we think it’s going to be great!


Have you ever wondered why you are a Presbyterian? What does that even mean? Why does it matter? Should it matter? What does it mean to be a young person in PCI? These are the kinds of questions we are going to be asking.

The 2018 Youth Assembly will give you the chance to engage with leaders within PCI, sharing your thoughts with them and discussing with others your age. All the feedback from the day will be gathered and shared with the General Assembly in June, so that the wider church will hear the collective voice of its young people. Your voice matters so please come along and use it!

The Youth Assembly is divided into three parts and is planned to be as interactive as possible. The first part of the day kicks off at 2pm and is the Assembly part, where we will listen to input from a variety of people from within our church and have opportunities for delegates to speak out and debate in the process.

We will hear the celebrations and frustrations of a panel of people with different experiences within the church, as well the opportunity to meet with new people and old friends, making connections within the amazing PCI family.

New format

The other two sections are new to the Youth Assembly. This time we are introducing an evening buffet meal for everyone to share together and to continue conversations and develop friendships. Then following the meal, we are moving into a youth event of worship and teaching from 7-9pm to challenge us all on why we come to church and why being passive consumers isn’t nearly enough.

As a team we are so excited by the potential of this day and we hope as many of you as possible can make it. Please book your place here and spread the word to others in your congregations and plan to be part of this exciting gathering. The cost is £8 for the whole day.

Helen Hook (left), from St. Andrews Presbyterian, Bangor and Niamh Rankin (right), from Stormont Presbyterian are both the Co-Chairs of our Youth Assembly Team.

This year’s Youth Assembly is called “RE-IMAGINE: Presbyterianism for today’s generation” and each congregation is invited to send up to five delegates.

You can find out more information on PCI’s 2018 Youth Assembly here.

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