On these Steps

19.11.2021 | Public Affairs, Video,

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland marked the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland and the partition of Ireland in 1921 with a special event at its Union Theological College, which in 1921, became the first home of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

Entitled, ’On these Steps’, the all-Ireland denomination wanted to mark the centenaries by acknowledging the role that its College played in the momentous events of 100 years ago. The Church also had a broader aim beyond the commemorative, in that it sought to create space to hear different perspectives and build relationships, by bringing people together to reflect on the island’s past, while looking in hope to a shared future.

Recognising the diversity of views around this significant anniversary, the Church invited civic and political representatives from across the UK and Ireland, including Ireland’s church leaders, who heard the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Bruce, give a reflective address that spoke to all traditions represented at the event. Ian McBride, the Foster Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford, brought a historical perspective. The Principal of Union Theological College, Rev Professor Gordon Campbell acted as MC.

You can watch the recorded Livestream of the event here:

Section Participants Approx timings
Introduction Rev Professor Gordon Campbell, principal of Union Theological College 10:35 to 16:58
Historical Reflection

Professor Ian McBride, Foster Professor of  Irish History, University of Oxford

16:59 to 41:25

Music & Drama

Specially commissioned song by the Belfast-  based indie singer-songwriter, Ferna

King George V’s address to the Northern     Ireland Parliament, spoken by actor, Jim Allen

41:49 to 47:14

47:16 to 56:56


Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, Moderator of the  Presbyterian Church in Ireland

57:51 to 1:26:02

Political reflections

Simon Coveney TD, Ireland’s Minister for  Foreign Affairs

Rt Hon Conor Burns MP, Northern Ireland  Office Minister of State

 Paul Givan MLA, First Minister of Northern   Ireland

Declan Kearney MLA, Junior Minister   (representing the deputy First Minister of   Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill MLA)

1:28:22 to 1:35:26

1:35:27 to 1:41:03

1:41:11 to 1:46:33

1:46:41 to 1:53:07


Political discussion

Remarks following their individual reflections by the elected representatives chaired by Judith Hill 1:53:12 to 2:21:06
Closing remarks & prayer  Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, Moderator of the   Presbyterian Church in Ireland 2:21:12 to 2:24:53

Media relations around the event