The General Synod of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland was only created as recently as 1910 but it represents a liberal theological tradition that runs through Irish history back to the origins of Presbyterianism. Surprisingly there is no generally available history of this small but significant denomination. Over the summer of 2017 I was asked to deliver a series of addresses on this history, I have now put these together on a new website which is intended to give an outline history of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland (NSPCI) in five chapters.
Ballee Pulpit Fall featuring the logo and motto of the Church
The site is broken down into:
The First Subscription Controversy [of the 1720s]
The Second Subscription Controversy [of the 1820s]
The Dissenters’ Chapels Act [of 1844]
Division and Controversy [the second half of the nineteenth century]
Consolidation [the reunification of the different Non-Subscribing elements in 1910]
It is an interesting and valuable history and one that is increasingly overlooked or misunderstood even by those who are involved in the NSPCI. But I hope this website will go some way to providing an accessible way of learning about this history both for those who are familiar with something of the story and for newcomers. I hope also to make it a useful database for images connected with NSPCI history.
The site can be found here:
Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church
Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church opened for worship in 1837
John F Larkin, QC
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
The case of the Clough meeting house (1836): law reporting and pamphleteering
The Lecture will take place in the meeting house on
Wednesday, 24th May 2017
at 7.30 pm
Followed by refreshments in the hall. Admission free. Everyone welcome.
The case of Dill v Watson (1836) determined which of two parties in Irish Presbyterianism was entitled to the ownership of the Meeting House in Clough, County Down. It was the first Irish battle in a campaign in which litigation was the adjunct of theological controversy, and in the Clough case there is almost a fusion of legal and theological debate. What is striking (and fascinating) about the Clough case is that both parties published reports of the decision. Law reporting was for the parties to the Clough litigation no abstract record of a judicial decision but a further way for historical, legal, political and theological debate to be carried on. The two reports of the Clough case opened a distinct front in a pamphlet campaign that lasted until the Dissenters Chapels Act 1844 – if not beyond. This lecture explores this litigation and its background through the prism of the two partisan reports of the Clough case and the later law report by Thomas Jones. It examines the significance of the Clough case as a turning point in wider legal and theological controversy.
For further information contact: Rev Dr David Steers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church, Castlewellan Road, Clough, BT30 8RD
The interior of the meeting house. The venue for the lecture