The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has over 240,000 members belonging to 545 congregations across 19 Presbyteries throughout Ireland, north and south.
The Presbyterian form of Christian faith is best described as 'Reformed' with its strong emphasis on the Sovereignty of God, the Kingship of Christ and the authority of the Bible.
Irish Presbyterianism had its origins in Scottish migrations to Ulster in the early seventeenth century.
The word 'Presbyterian' describes the form of the Church government which emphasises the individual and corporate responsibility of members. Ministers and members share in the organising and running of every aspect of the Church's work.
The preaching of the Word of God is central to Presbyterian worship services that are set amongst a mixture of prayer and praise. There is no fixed liturgy in Presbyterian services of worship. Prayers and hymns, psalms and paraphrases, Scripture readings and sermons are adapted to the needs of the occasion.
The best test of the Presbyterian Church and its members lies in what their faith compels them to do for others, not just what has been done for them as individuals.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is a founder member of what is now known as the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and has a strong history providing education, evangelism, social service and world mission to countries such as India, China, the Middle East, Jamaica, Indonesia, Nepal and Brazil.
The Church's corporate work is organised through members’ representation at local congregational level, Presbytery level and right up to General Assembly level, which is the highest decision making body. The General Assembly meets once a year in the first week in June, usually in Belfast, under the chairmanship of the Moderator who is elected annually as the Church's principal public representative.
The Church's administrative centre, Assembly Buildings, is located at Fisherwick Place in Belfast and the present Clerk of Assembly and General Secretary is Rev. Dr. Donald Watts.