Presbyterian Herald October 2022

Sarah Harding

26.9.2022 | Presbyterian Herald

The October 2022 edition of the Presbyterian Herald is now available. Editor, Sarah Harding, introduces this month's edition.


With the recent death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there has been a strong sense of many communities united in grief. In this edition we pay tribute to a Queen who devoted herself so fully to serving not only her people, but also her Lord.

We hear reflections from some in PCI who met her. In these stories, a common admiration is shared, but the different words used to describe her makes for a very long list, including: faithfulness, duty, example, sincerity, service, grace, dignity, leadership, integrity, steadfastness, warmth, humility, tenacity, resilience, devotion… the list goes on.

Her visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011 was a pivotal moment. Dr Frank Sellar comments: “Fearlessly crossing centuries of political animosity, bitterness, turbulence, and personal pain for the sake of reconciliation.”

The Queen’s actions showed her desire for peace and her great respect for unity. This is echoed elsewhere in the magazine, as the importance of unity within our Church is discussed. Dr Donald Watts reflects on where we find ourselves as a denomination as we emerge from Covid. He is concerned that one of the most fundamental issues to PCI is a “lack of trust in one another” and calls for us all to “work through differences with respect”. He optimistically sees the current times as “new beginnings”, which has a sense of fresh opportunities and unlocked potential.

This sentiment is also reflected in the words of Rick Hill, who succeeds Dr David Bruce as Secretary to the Council for Mission in Ireland. Rick and David talk candidly to Alan Meban about the denomination moving forward, with Rick focusing on two words: ‘renovation’ and ‘innovation’, saying he’s keen for the Council to help PCI “rethink, reset and renovate the shells and structures that are already there to become all it could be”.

One church that is shining as an example of practical unity is the congregation of Islandmagee. Minister Peter Bovill describes the long journey of how two churches became one. Although a somewhat lengthy process, Peter gives testament to God’s perfect timing and grace throughout. The church’s motto through the transition has been ‘We are better together’, which also perfectly fits for our denomination as a whole.

Just as Queen Elizabeth’s death has brought unity to many, so too this season in the Church’s life has the potential to unite people together. And as we renew a spirit of togetherness, we can all draw inspiration from Her Majesty’s faith, reflected on our cover image: “The message and teachings of Christ have been my guide.”

The Presbyterian Herald is the official magazine of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It provides a forum for debate and discussion on a wide range of topics and aims to challenge and encourage Presbyterians, as well as inform them about what the wider Church is involved in. It has a readership in excess of 25,000 and is distributed throughout Ireland.

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