The word ‘Presbyterian’ comes from the Greek word for elder 'presbyteros'. In the bible we see 'elders' being chosen to help lead congregations. In contrast to other churches we understand the bible to teach that churches should be run by groups of elders as opposed to either being run by one man (a bishop) or by everyone. It should be pointed out that our members of the congregation do vote for who becomes an elder, so in this way at least everyone has a say in what happens.
Furthermore, Presbyterians believe that congregations should be not be totally independent of other congregations but should come together in regional and national groupings to both work together and to hold each other to account.
Our regional groupings are called a 'presbytery', there are 19 that cover the island of Ireland and our presbytery is the Dublin and Munster presbytery. See here for more
At a nation level our church meets once a year in what we call a 'general assembly'. One of our elders and our minister meet with elders and ministers from every congregation to make decisions.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland serves the whole of Ireland, North and South with a membership of around 300,000 in 539 congregations.
There is no fixed liturgy. Prayers and hymns, psalms and paraphrases, Scripture reading and sermon are adapted to the needs of the occasion.
The best test of our church and its members lies in what their faith compels them to do for others, not just what has been done for them as individuals. The King and Head of the Church loved us and gave Himself for us so that we should no longer live for ourselves. We are called to service.
For more information visit https://www.presbyterianireland.org.