Presbyterian Church and same-sex couples

Sir, – I welcome the factual correction of the current position of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (Letters, June 11th), which does not, strictly speaking, bar same-sex couples from its services.

Certain resolutions passed at the 2018 general assembly did, however, attempt to limit the full participation of those in same-sex relationships in the life of the worshipping community.

It is no secret that this is a move which many continue to resist, and consider somewhat more important than football allegiances.

In this regard, too, accuracy is important.


So I would like in my turn to highlight the significant number of Presbyterians, including those who are gay, who are bravely ensuring that the Church’s understanding of the things which matter most to our humanity are subject to that ongoing and faithful critique which the Bible – and centuries of Christian history – demand.

In this, they have shown grace, courage, forbearance, a passionate sense of justice, a deep biblical thoughtfulness, emotional intelligence, theological acuity, and personal courtesy.

In this, all are welcome.

If the Presbyterian tradition, being only one tradition among many, has anything distinctive to offer, it is perhaps this: the relentless insistence that dissenting voices, raised and welcomed in this spirit, are the oxygen of the Church, and without them, we suffocate.

Breathe on. It does get better. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 7.