40 yrs

As I found out yesterday it is 40 yrs since our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland decided to start ordaining women.
Someone pointed out to me  that in those 40 years less than 40 woman have been ordained, so using my amazing mathematical skills I’ve worked out that…er…. less than one woman a year has been ordained.

Something I thought might be interesting to do is to take a Google map I’d made last year with each Presbyterian congregation marked on it and change the blue marker to red if there was a woman minister there at the moment that I knew about (so there may be some missing). As you can see there quite a few blue markers and not many red.


So this morning I knew that there would a very glowing sermon for the Queen and this made me stay away from this morning’s service,
but wasn’t an option for my better half who has to go, even though she is Irish, as in born in Co. Offaly or lived mostly in Co. Dublin.  Not British yet part of the Presbyterian Church, like many other people. Well like some other people maybe.
So our gracious Queen isn’t her gracious Queen, and if you are from German or Korean, Polish or a republican from Belfast she isn’t your queen.
The point isn’t whether the Queen is good or bad, is gracious,etc  the point is that if you are the Presbyterian Church in Ireland then you are excluding people if you talk about ‘our Queen’ or ‘our nations armed forces’  as they might talk about at the General Assembly when talking about chaplains and the like.

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland means that glowing sermons for the Queen might be divisive in your sister churches a few hours down the road, in places like Cork, Sligo, Dun Laoghaire,  Dundalk area, not even to mention 5mins up the road in west Belfast.

It’s hard, I always seem like I’m moaning about church or my faith, life in general. Yet if you are asking members of the church to bring a friend along to a service but giving glowing sermons for the things British or holding a Remembrance Day with the British National anthem that puts up a barrier to bringing along people who are Republican and saw the British Army as the oppressors….well, you know….it’s the PCNI…