Synod 2021 - POSTPONED

Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland

Synod Meetings 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Thank you, to all those responsible for returning reports to me in good time for me to circulate these in advance of the proposed Synod Meetings.

Thank you, to those who have made a return indicating the intention of their congregations to be represented ‘virtually’ at the proposed ZOOM meetings on the 8th and 9th June.

The decision to hold this years Remonstrant Synod and General Synod by ZOOM (which would have been in line with several other larger denominations) was made by the General Purposes Committee after much discussion and heart searching, recognising the difficulties this might cause some congregations but feeling that the benefits outweighed the disadvantages.

As Revd. Roger McKee said to me “One of the delights of Synod is catching up with old friends and the banter and craic that produces . It’s these relationships that our denomination thrives on and enrich our lives and our walk with the Lord.”

However, due to several communications recently from Ministers and Congregations, mainly those not represented on GPC, outlining their concerns about Zoom Meetings at this time, and the non return of nomination forms from a number of our Churches, the Moderators and Clerks of the Remonstrant Synod and General Synod have decided, regretfully and reluctantly, to defer this years Synod Meetings to a later date.

We are unhappy that this has occurred on two successive years and recognise that many churches and members will be disappointed to learn of this postponement.

We need to engage with and support one another as best we can. We need to feel we are not alone especially in these difficult times, but we trust that it will be possible to meet ‘in person’ at the earliest opportunity when we are completely out of lockdown.

To give us some thoughts as to how we might proceed in future we are holding the Wednesday morning 9th June slot open so that those who may be able, can meet together, and share ideas on an informal basis.

You are also encouraged to bring to our attention either by email, post, phone or at our open meeting on Wednesday morning, your thoughts, successes and disappointments on any matter, including the future situation should there be other lockdowns.


Join Zoom Meeting Wednesday 9th June 2021 (Just click on this link) or (copy and paste into your search bar.)
Meeting ID: 892 8808 1059

Yours in the Lord

Colin, Roger, Chris and Robert


Very Rev. Robert A McKee
Clerk of General Synod
(Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland)
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Opening of Churches for Easter in Northern Ireland 2021

To all Ministers, GPC, and Congregational Office bearers (whose emails I have).tulips 5064893 1920
19th March 2021

Dear Colleagues and Church Members,

As you may know several of the main denominations are reopening their church
doors for the Easter period.

We would encourage those of you, who feel it appropriate to open your church for
Easter to place a strong emphasis on the importance of wearing masks, social
distancing, hand washing and sanitising etc. — mindful of the risk that the rollout
of the vaccination programme could make people complacent about the very real
risks which remain.

We appreciate the sacrifices many of you have made by not holding ‘in person’
services and where possible going on line and communicating with church
members by telephone, mobile, email etc. over the past year.

The BBC are planning to host an interdenominational service for Easter Sunday
which we could all enjoy.

We encourage you especially at Easter, to remember and in your prayers and
reflections, to think about, what many people (including those of all faiths and
none) have been through as a result of Covid-19.

With every good wish,
Yours in the Lord,
Chris and Robert

(Moderator & Clerk of the NSPCI)

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - Message from the Moderator

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

It is with great sadness that we learn about the sad death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Palace said in a statement: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

The congregations of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland join together at this very sad time in prayer and reflection and send our deepest sympathies to HM The Queen and the Royal Family.


I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip. He was a wonderful Consort and husband to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, and loving father and grandfather to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Amongst his many achievements is the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which is a great incentive to many young people and has worked closely with Gaisce – The Irish President's Award. Participation in both projects have helped young people progress beyond their own expectations of themselves.
As Moderator I wish to express our deepest condolence to Her Majesty and The Royal Family on behalf of The Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.
Rt Rev Christopher Hudson MBE



1200px Prince Phillip looking at City Hall November 2008

December issue of the Magazine

The DECEMBER edition of the Non-Subsribing Presbyterian Magazine is available.  The Table of Contents appears below. 

If you are interested in subscribing to receive the magazine, please be in contact with Rev. Heather Walker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COVER PHOTO: Harvest Celebrations continued to take place in some of our churches, yeilding more beautiful and colourful displays. This joyful rainbow was created by Elizabeth Stevenson from Banbridge. I think it's the display of 2020!
I love Christmastide. 
This year, a much larger population than usual seems to have embraced the Christmas spirit early.  Trees have appeared earlier in homes, windows have been decorated with festive artwork; the darker nights are already aglow with neon stars and snowflakes.  I follow my own little traditions: the Christmas cups come down from the top shelf as soon as the ‘red cups’ arrive in certain large multi-national coffee stores, the red nose and antlers are attached to my long-suffering car, the summer Lego display is removed from the windowsill and replaced with a winter set, and my legion of Willowtree angels are assembled into a sizeable Nativity scene.  It brings me joy, and I suspect that search for joy is behind this year’s earlier immersion into festive decor.
It’s a theme running through the first Nativity narrative too - just like the characters in the Gnostic parable ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the gospel writers introduce us to a number of individuals who are searching for something which may, when distilled, be described simply as ‘joy’. 
Joseph sought a good wife, space to work as a carpenter and stay below the notice of the Romans.  For him, joy was following in the footsteps of tradition, yet still find the freedom to create, within those rules.  God led him to that place by a somewhat circuitous route, and we know he felt heartache and uncertainty on his journey.  He was not judged for this, but reassured by God’s own voice within His dreams; an ordinary man searching for ordinary joy trusting in the extraordinary God that not only hears, but speaks. 
Mary found joy in obedience to her Father’s will.  Her song of praise attests to this, as does her quiet contemplation of the things she witnesses; things we are told she ‘stores in her heart’.  She was aware that the quest to be obedient is not centred on a single event  - as a Nazirite vow would be - but is rather a lifelong journey of faith and determination; the recurring decision to obey, and the celebration of that.
The shepherds sought the joy proclaimed by the angels - peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, the glad tidings of good news - and they were invested in the search enough to leave the flocks and face derision in Bethlehem as they looked for God’s sign revealed. 
The magi sought the star, which in turn would lead them to the promised king.  When they saw the star, we are told, they rejoiced, and when they found the Child, they worshipped.
We think of Simeon and his quest for fulfilment: his joy on receiving it, and his humble acknowledgement that he could depart the world in peace, having been led to the source of joy - the Christ child.
I also think of Herod.  His joy was power.  He desired authority, the ability to influence a city - which we learn in the phrase ‘he was troubled, and all Jesusalem with him’.  We think of recent dictators and those reluctant to yield power, however they have come by it.  Their whims and moods form the basis for their policies and actions, and so those beneath their charge learn to fear the temperament of the ruler, rather than the laws of the land.  Herod’s joy was centred on his acquisition of position; the joy of the others in the Nativity are found in the acquisition of something that remains despite the positions they find themselves in.  Youthful or aged, revered or disgraced, they held the sights, sounds and symbols of that night within themselves, and they found joy.
Positions and situations have been in flux all year, and those who find their worth within them are struggling to find joy.  What a time to turn to the Christmas symbols and reassure ourselves of the joy that awaits!  I delight in God’s timing of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which will blaze as a Christmas star in the sky this midwinter’s night.  It reminds me that His promises are still true, His Sovereignty undiminished, and despite the journeys, the quests, the seeking and strivings of 2020, His capacity to give peace, hope and joy remains undimmed.
Yours in Christ,
  • Editorial pg 2
  • The Road to Dundonald pg 4
  • News of the Churches pg 6
  • A Remembrance Day Prayer pg 10
  • The Hymns we sang together pg 11 
  • Social Services   pg 13
  • -A selection of virtual worship and inspiration from our Churches media sites
  • A Lockdown Prayer pg 16
  • Children's Corner  pg 17
  • Online Ministry Links and Addresses pg 18