General Assembly Preview - Friday 24 June 2022

24.6.2022 | General Assembly

Today marks the second and penultimate full day of business at the 2022 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Around 1,000 ministers and elders from the Church’s 500-plus congregations across Ireland, along with corresponding members from home and overseas, will meet in General Assembly for worship, prayer, celebration and discussion. 

Meeting in Assembly Buildings, Belfast, the General Assembly is the denomination’s principle governing and decision-making body and the highest court of the Church.

Business will open this morning at 10am with PCI’s new Moderator, Dr John Kirkpatrick taking the chair and will close at 9pm. After today’s business, at 7.45pm is the General Assembly Evening Celebration will take place.

You can watch today's proceedings via the livestream here.

Today’s business before the Assembly

The following reports will come before the General Assembly today:

  • Trustees Reports
  • Council for Global Mission
  • General Council (Section 3)
  • General Council (Section 4)
  • Linkage Commission
  • Council for Mission in Ireland

The General Council is PCI’s senior decision making body that takes any necessary decisions on behalf of the General Assembly between its meetings. The General Council has conducted its business through 6 General Assembly committees and 8 task groups and one panel this year. Of all the Annual Reports before the General Assembly, the Report of the General Council is the longest, running to just under 100 pages out of the 272 in the Blue Book, which contains all the reports and resolutions. To facilitate business during the week its report is divided into five sections, with discussion and debate on its contents and resolutions taking place today, Friday afternoon, and Saturday afternoon.

Today the General Council's Reports include:

  • Membership & People with Intellectual Disabilities Task Group
  • Supporting Families in Challenging Times Task Group
  • Pandemic Response (Governance) Task Group
  • Pandemic Response (Theological Moral & Spiritual) Task Group
  • Communication’s Strategy Task Group

The General Assembly Communion Service will also take place at 11.45 this morning.

- 10am

Trustees – Report and Resolutions (pags 117-123 and 263)

- 10.30am

COUNCIL FOR GLOBAL MISSION: Report and Resolutions (pages 124-137 and 264).

- 11.45am

Assembly Communion Service


GENERAL COUNCIL: Section 3 of Report and Resolutions 12-13 (pages 53-58 and 260)

  • Membership and People with Intellectual Disabilities Task Group
  • Supporting Families in Challenging Times Task Group

- 2.45pm

Alternative Presentation – The turning of the tide

- 4.15pm

GENERAL COUNCIL: Section 4 of Report and Resolutions 14-16 (pages 59-79 and 260)

  • Pandemic Response (Governance) Task Group
  • Pandemic Response (Theological, Moral and Spiritual) Task Group
  • Communications Strategy Task Group

- 7.15pm

LINKAGE COMMISSION: Report and Resolutions (pages 138-169 and 265)

- 8pm

COUNCIL FOR MISSION IN IRELAND: Report and Resolutions (pages 170-191 and 265- 266)

- 9pm Close.

You can read the reports and resolutions as they relate to the page numbers above here.

For information

Pandemic Response

Some of that business before the General Assembly reflects the recent times that Ireland has lived through. Covid-19 it still around and many people are still feeling its effects and grieving personal loss.

This afternoon two Task Groups that were established by last October’s General Assembly – the Pandemic Response (Governance) Task Group and the Pandemic Response (Theological, Moral & Spiritual) Task Group will report.

The first report on Governance looks at what was done in the light of experience, examining in detail the interim processes that were put in place at the time, looking at their strengths and weaknesses, areas were improvements could, or should, be made and key lessons for the future.

The second is a wide-ranging interim report which seeks to review PCI’s response to the pandemic setting out theological, moral and spiritual principles to guide the Church in any similar situation in the future. The report states that the ‘pandemic necessitated making many difficult moral and ethical decisions’. For PCI it is important to identify a firm set of theologically well founded moral principles upon which to base any future decisions should this happen again.

When the final report comes to the 2023 General Assembly, it is anticipated that it will capture PCI’s story of the pandemic, identify key learning for our denomination and frame any proposals requiring decisions by the courts of the Church. In short, what is the very best and wisest response we can make, in the set of circumstances that we may face.

Alternative Presentation – 'The Turning of the tide’

The Council for Congregational Live & Witness (CCL&W) will also make its Alternative Presentation at 2.45 this afternoon which is entitled ‘The Turning of the tide’. Introduced in 2015, these presentations allow PCI’s Councils, to focus on a particular aspect of their work, mission and ministry, or specific issues relating to them. During CCLW’s presentation, Assembly Members will get a picture of how congregations are emerging from the pandemic, with stories focusing on pastoral care, discipleship and leadership for this season. Moving forward, it will also look at opportunities and challenges for youth, children’s and women’s ministry and new resources to help and support congregations

You can see all business before the General Assembly this week here.

Back to News