Considering Grace

18.10.2021 | Public Affairs,

'Considering Grace: Presbyterians and the Troubles' records the deeply moving stories of 120 ordinary people’s experiences of the Troubles, exploring how faith shaped their responses to violence and its aftermath. 

The result of a research project commissioned by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the book is the first to capture such a full range of experiences of the Troubles of people from a Protestant background.

Presbyterian ministers, victims, members of the security forces, emergency responders, healthcare workers and ‘critical friends’ of the Presbyterian tradition are among those to provide insights on wider human experiences of anger, pain, healing, and forgiveness.

It also includes the perspectives of women and people from border counties and features leading public figures, such as former Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon of the SDLP, Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, and former Victims Commissioner Bertha McDougall.

Considering Grace contributes to the process of ‘dealing with the past’ by pointing towards the need for a ‘gracious remembering’ that acknowledges suffering, is self-critical about the past, and creates space for lament, but also for the future.

About the authors:

Gladys Ganiel is a sociologist of religion at Queen’s University Belfast. Her previous books include Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland; Evangelicalism and Conflict in Northern Ireland; Unity Pilgrim: The life of Fr Gerry Reynolds CSsR; and The Deconstructed Church: Understanding emerging Christianity with Gerardo Marti.

Jamie Yohanis’s academic background is in theology and education with a particular interest in the intersection of confessional faith and state-funded education; the field in which he conducted his doctoral studies. Professionally, he has worked as an RE teacher and now works in an educational capacity with service users within the criminal justice system.


Copies of the book can be ordered online using the options right. Prices are:

Collected from Assembly Buildings £10.00
Posted to the UK £11.50
Posted to Europe (inc Rep of Ireland) £13.50

For a destination outside UK and Europe please contact the office (details below)


Considering Grace was launched in Belfast on Tuesday 5 November 2019. Read full news story here.

An online conference Considering Grace: Unpacking the impact took place on Thursday 3 December 2020.

It looked at the impact of Considering Grace for PCI and for wider society, and the congregational resource to accompany the book was also launched.

Speakers included Canon David Porter, Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Very Rev Dr Stafford Carson, Principal of Union Theological College; the books co-authors Dr Gladys Ganiel and Dr Jamie Yohanis; the General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches, Dr Nicola Brady; the resource author, Dave Thompson.

The event was recorded and available to watch on the PCI video channel here. Read the full news story here.


A series of videos in relation to Considering Grace are available on PCI's Vimeo site.

In the videos, public figures both inside and outside the Presbyterian Church speak about their personal experiences, as well as the role of the Presbyterian Church during the Troubles.

List of contributors: Nicola Brady; Stewart Dickson; Jeffrey Donaldson; John Hutchinson; Danny Kennedy; Seamus Mallon; Sean Murray; Geraldine Smyth; and Trevor Williams.

Congregational resource

A study resource to help congregations unpack the themes emerging from Considering Grace has been developed and was launched as part of the ‘Considering Grace – unpacking the impact’ online conference, which was held in December 2020. The resource will help local churches think through how they care for their own members, and also how they might make a contribution to wider discussion about the past in order to shape a better future. Themes explored in the resource will include lament, remembering, prayer, forgiveness, and seeking a more reconciled community.

Please fill out the form below to order copies of the resource to use in your congregation. These are free to order and will be posted out free of charge. Please be mindful that due to Covid-19 restrictions, it may take longer than normal for this to reach you.

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