General Council

Convener: Very Rev Dr David Bruce
Secretary: The Clerk of the General Assembly
The General Council is the largest and most representative body under the Assembly, with around 70 members. This includes all the Conveners of other Assembly Councils and Presbytery Clerks.

The General Council can act on behalf of the General Assembly between meetings, as appropriate. Part of its remit is to co-ordinate the work of all the other Councils as well as acting where work overlaps between two or more Councils and where work is not covered by any Council.

A lot of the logistical elements of Council formation, such as nominations from Presbyteries and nominations of Conveners falls to the responsibility of the General Council.

Recommending an order of business to the General Assembly and making all arrangements for the accommodation and discharge of the Assembly business as well as examining the records of all the Presbyteries and Assembly Councils, falls to the General Council. It will also draw up priorities for the work of the General Assembly.

In discussion with the Presbyteries and other Councils, it will recommend priorities to the General Assembly and report that the work of all the Councils is consistent with the priorities agreed by the Assembly.

The United Appeal Fund for Mission is at the very heart of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, helping to finance many of the other Councils work and witness. The General Council will oversee budgets for each Council receiving support from the United Appeal and assist with providing publicity materials to help congregations and Presbyteries reach their targets.

Where appropriate, the Council will prepare, through the Doctrine Committee, general Church policy and statements on doctrine for submission for the General Assembly’s approval.

The Council may at times advise the Moderator and Clerk on matters of sensitivity for the Church.

The Church Relations Committee is responsible for developing relationships with other Churches and monitoring those inter-church bodies of which PCI is a member.

Support services, such as finance, personnel, IT, property services and creative production, all sit within the General Council’s oversight which seeks to ensure such services are provided for Councils efficiently and cost effectively.


Council Committees 

Church Relations Committee Convener: Rev HM Freeburn
Doctrine Committee Convener: Principal of Union Theological College
Priorities Committee Convener: The Clerk
United Appeal Committee Convener: Mr M Hampton
Support Services Committee Convener: Mr David Thomson
General Assembly Advisory Committee Convener: The Clerk
Nominations Committee Convener: Rev TWA Greer
General Assembly Business Committee Convener: Rev RMcM Mackay