Born out of the Methodist revival of the 18th century, the church is known as the Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru in the Principality and is one of its largest denominations, with some 24,000 members and 620 churches.
In bringing the greetings on behalf of the representatives from other churches in Britain and Ireland to the General Assembly, Dr. McNeely said, “As we join with you we pray for a productive assembly and a symposium that will inspire you in your work for God’s kingdom in Wales.
“As I read your reports I recognise that you are dealing with many of the issues that are familiar and universal in our churches. The postmodern society creates numerous challenges in regard to diminishing numbers engaging with church, but it also in obedience to God focuses our attention on our missional purpose,” Dr. McNeely said.
The Moderator also talked about the quincentenary of the Reformation saying, “2017 being the year when we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of his 95 Thesis, we are reminded of the turbulent and uncertain times that followed and the transformation that took place.
“We are in very uncertain times, the events of the past few months have led to confusion and fear, politically in Great Britain and Northern Ireland there are crucial issues to resolve regarding Brexit and governance. As the Reformed Church we must, through the Spirit of God, be constantly reforming and be prepared to reflect on our traditions and practices and make the radical changes required to fulfil or commission as a missional church.”
Dr. McNeely prayed, “God’s blessing” upon the retiring General Secretary of Presbyterian Church of Wales, Rev. Meirion Morris, who attended last month’s General Assembly in Belfast. He also spoke of a delegation of PCW’s youth department who visited colleagues in PCI’s youth and children’s department. “I trust that this relationship will expand and that we will both benefit from our experience of youth ministry in the current youth culture, which creates many challenges in regard to how we reach young people with the gospel,” he said.
In conclusion, the Moderator said that he hoped that the representatives from other denomination would “encourage subsequent helpful exchanges and remind us to be praying for our neighbouring reformed churches as we witness to the reformed principle of salvation through grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.”
Photos: Clockwise above (1) PCI Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Noble McNeely addressing the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Wales on behalf of the representatives of visiting churches. (2) Around two-thirds of congregations worship and work through the Welsh language, which includes the installation of their new Moderator. Dr. McNeely is pictured with newly installed Welsh Moderator, Rev. Brian Huw Jones.