Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland

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The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland is a Presbyterian denomination in Ireland.

History[edit]

The denomination's roots date back to the 17th-century Plantation of Ulster by Scots Presbyterian settlers. When the Revolution Settlement was entered into in 1690 following the victory of William III in the Williamite War, a minority of Presbyterians refused to subscribe, claiming its failure to specifically recognise the kingship of Jesus Christ was a departure from the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. These dissenters, or Covenanters, began to hold separate meetings from the mainstream Presbyterians. The Ulster branch of the denomination was dependent on visits from Scottish ministers until 1757.

A separate Irish presbytery was organised in April 1763, and its synod was constituted at Cullybackey on 1 May 1811.[1]

Distribution[edit]

The church currently has thirty-nine congregations, of which thirty-four are located in Northern Ireland; the remaining five are located in the Republic of Ireland.[2] As of 2011, its total communicant membership is 1,952.[3] The distribution of Reformed Presbyterians accords with the distribution of the Ulster Scots, with most congregations based in Counties Antrim, Londonderry and Down. Several new congregations have, however, been formed recently in the Belfast area.

Theology[edit]

  • Westminster Confession of Faith
  • Westminster Larger Catechism
  • Westminster Shorter Catechism
  • The testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland[4] which contains a very short article outlining the two points where the RPCI disagrees with Westminster Confession of Faith,[4]:3 followed by fourteen short essays on points of 'practical application' which are essentially facets of Christian living on which the RPCI has a theological opinion. Some such essays relate to the relationship between church and state,[4]:23 how it understands its relationship to Roman Catholicism,[4]:95 or what it thinks about membership of the secret societies.[4]:84

See also[edit]

Other Presbyterian denominations in Ireland[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glasgow, William M. A History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America. Baltimore: Hill and Harvey, 1888, 51.
  2. ^ Find A Congregation, Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. Accessed 2009-09-02.
  3. ^ Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. 2008: Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, 170-171.
  4. ^ a b c d e Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland (1990 ed.). Authorithy of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod. 

External links[edit]