Statement on the resignation of Rev. Ian Carton
The Committee of Being Presbyterian (BP) learned with deep sorrow of the decision of the Rev Ian Carton to resign his ministry within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI). Ian and his wife June have been valued colleagues and members of our group. Ian was a guest speaker at a BP event where many listened with care and concern to his story, told with great honesty and dignity. We understand that the journey of these recent days has not been easy for Ian and his family and offer to them our continued support and prayers.
We understand and share much of the pain that has led to Ian decision to leave. While fully respecting that decision, as a group we continue our presence together within PCI in which as our BP Road Map states: “We affirm that God models a unity-in-diversity in which all are called to life in the church. We therefore pray and work for a church in which none who respond to that call are excluded on the basis of age, class, colour, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity… a church in which a lively diversity is nurtured, held in Christ and bears the fruit of the Spirit.”
Rev John Brackenridge
Rev Purvis Campbell
Rev John Davey
Rev Mark Gray
Rev Katherine Meyer
Rev Patricia McBride
Rev Wilfred Orr
Rev Roger Purse
Rev Allen Sleith
Rev Donald Watts
A Cry from the Heart
The statement, A Cry from the Heart, was issued to the press on Thursday, 5 July 2018, in response to decisions taken at the 2018 General Assembly. The statement was open for signatures for 48 hours only, in order that it could be issued quickly and before the summer holiday period. At the end of the 48 hours it had been signed by around 230 ordained ruling and teaching elders in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Those who signed did so in a personal capacity.
The statement was an ad hoc effort, initiated by a small group of ministers who were ourselves in deep dismay after the 2018 General Assembly, and wanted to give public voice both to our own dismay and to the upset, even anguish, being expressed to us by others.
The intention was simply to lay down a marker, a signpost, a visible sign of the work ahead of us and of our commitment to it. Being Presbyterian is one of the initiatives that began to emerge later that same year as one part of a response to our profound concern, and an expression of commitment to the health and well-being of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Statement: A Cry from the Heart
As teaching and ruling elders in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, we acknowledge, and indeed share, the profound sense of hurt, dismay and anger currently being expressed in the wake of decisions taken at our 2018 General Assembly. This level of feeling is unprecedented in our pastoral experience.
We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that the decisions which have prompted such a level of concern will be subject to the urgent attention they deserve, and for which many in the Church are calling.
We gladly acknowledge that we ourselves have been constantly enriched and challenged by the diversity of views found in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Therefore, as we participate in this work of critical engagement and discernment, we hold that any unnecessary narrowing of the range of acceptable theological perspectives within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will damage our credibility and limit our future.
We make this statement as a prayerful expression of appropriate loyalty to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland at this moment in our history; a necessary consequence of our ordination vows, which we take with the utmost seriousness; and by the grace of God, an imperfect yet credible witness to our trust in Jesus Christ alone.
To God alone be the glory.