General Assembly Preview - Saturday 25 June 2022

25.6.2022 | General Assembly

Today marks the final day of business at the 2022 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the first time in many years that Members of Assembly have met on a Saturday. 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 in private session with the report of the Judicial Commision, Public business begins at 11am with PCI’s new Moderator, Dr John Kirkpatrick taking the chair and will close this afternoon around 4pm.

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:

In private

  • Judicial Commission (private session)

In public

  • Council for Congegregational Life & Witness
  • Council for Social Witness
  • Council for Public Affairs
  • General Council (Section 5)
  • Lapsed Business (if any)
  • Final Report of the General Assembly Business Committee

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 following will report:

  • Nominations Committee
  • Reconfiguration of Ministry Task Group
  • Geneal Assembly Advisory Committee
  • Ad-Hoc areas of work
  • Reports for information


- 10am

Private Session

JUDICIAL COMMISSION etc.: Report and Resolutions (pages 192-196 and

- 11am

COUNCIL FOR CONGREGATIONAL LIFE AND WITNESS: Report and Resolutions (pages 197- 213 and 267)

- 12 noon          

COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL WITNESS: Report Resolutions (pages 214-227 and 267)

- 2pm

COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Report and Resolutions (pages 228-253 and 267-268)

- 3pm    

GENERAL COUNCIL: Section 5 of Report and Resolutions 17-19 (pages 80-98 and 261-262)

  • Nominations Committee
  • Reconfiguration of Ministry Task Group
  • General Assembly Advisory Committee
  • Ad-Hoc areas of work
  • Reports for information (Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland and Presbyterian Children's Society.)
  • Lapsed Business (if any)
  • Final Report of the General Assembly Business Committee


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

For information

Political developments

As the Assembly meets on a Saturday for the first time in many years, Members will be able discuss a range of issues in the public square during the Report of the Council for Public Affairs. This will include the cost of living crisis to the reform of education in both jurisdictions, hate crime and devolution in Northern Ireland.

In particular, the General Assembly will be asked to ‘express its deep regret at the continued and unhelpful undermining of the devolution settlement by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland…’ The resolution specifically references Mr Lewis’ self-given power ‘…to direct Northern Ireland Executive Ministers and Departments on matters including, but which stretch beyond the provision of abortion services, to education and other areas...’

In another resolution, the General Assembly will asked to ‘express its concern about the significant and rapid increases in the cost of living across Ireland…” The governments in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will also be asked ‘…to not only find ways to mitigate the immediate crisis, but also prioritise the development of anti-poverty strategies in each jurisdiction that begin to tackle the root causes of endemic poverty on the island.’

Resolutions on the UK government’s Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Bill, and legislation on the Northern Ireland Protocol will also be before the Assembly.

Congregational Life

In its report today, the Council of Congregational Life & Witness will detail the ongoing challenges for congregational life and witness and how it has supported congregations during this time of change and re-emergence. The Council is one of PCI’s largest Councils and has a wide remit to support the on-going life, mission and witness of congregations across Ireland in their work with all age-groups. Today it will announce a two-year listening exercise across all PCI’s 19 regional presbyteries to enable it to better resource the whole church, as well as to more fully understand the impact of the pandemic.

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

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