The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, to which we belong, sets the criteria for defining membership. This, along with all the other rules and regulations governing the denomination, can be found on-line: www.presbyterianireland.org and follow the links (PCI Resources – Code).
According to the Code:
All who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are called to be members of the visible Church in the fellowship of a congregation, with all the rights and responsibilities attached thereto.
Church members are called to make diligent use of the means of grace, to share faithfully in the worship and work of the Church, to give of their substance as the Lord may prosper them, to render whole-hearted service to Christ and His Kingdom throughout the world and to continue in the peace and fellowship of the people of God.
The children of believers are, through God’s covenant and promise, called to be part of the visible Church. Hence they are entitled to baptism and to nurture by the Church and pastoral care, to the end that they may personally embrace Christ and claim the benefits of the covenant.
All baptised persons, even though they are adults and have made no personal profession of their faith in Christ, are entitled to the pastoral care and instruction of the Church and are subject to its discipline.
All those who enrol with the congregation as ‘Communicants’ (Christians who partake of the Sacrament of Holy Communion) also qualify under certain conditions to be ‘Voting Members’ of the congregation.
Each person is unique and we will welcome you into our congregation and assist you in finding your way around. Nobody will force you to join, but should you wish to do so this is the process:
- Contact the Minister and arrange to meet
- The Minister will complete a short form with you and outline what Abbey is about
- You are now formally registered either as a ‘Communicant’ or as an ‘Adherent’
- You will be appointed an Elder from the Kirk Session (the ruling body of the congregation)
- You will be encouraged to join a Cell Group and/or link up with the appropriate co-ordinator
Let us emphasise again that you are not required to be in a Cell Group to be a member of the congregation, but we would encourage you in that direction as the best way of benefiting from and participating in the life of the congregation and the community.