Bit of Stress

People often ask about the new Northern Ireland politics. How can it be that the old enemies seem suddenly to be able to live and work with one another? I too find it extraordinary – and if now why not five, ten or fifteen years ago? So those of you who don’t read the Northern Ireland news may have missed the information that Ian Paisley is stepping down as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church. Going before he is pushed, it seems.  Read about it at

While the Democratic Unionist Party seems to have been able to make the political movement towards power-sharing, the Free Presbyterian Church has found it more difficult.  Not surprising really.  Politicians can choose to change direction for the most pragmatic of reasons.  Conviction-driven churches can’t and don’t do pragmatism.


  1. I wish nobody ill. But I find it reassuring that the change is proving painful. A measure of pain at least shows that the change is real. However solid they may look, buildings erected on the shifting sands of fear do not stand for ever.

  2. Paisley’s ecclesiastical interests seemed to have ceased last March, judging by his website, which up until that time had been very regularly updated

    Evangelical friends in the North say that the Free Presbyterian Church, already in sharp decline, is likely to splinter.

    Now, if Gordon Brown would call a General Election, there might be interesting results in DUP seats.

  3. It’s interesting from our side of the North Channel that the reasons being given for this are not only his general closeness with Sinn Fein but also the particular incompatibility of his position as Moderator and the forthcoming legislation on human sexuality. Also interesting in other reports I read is that my old stomping ground of St Donard’s is not only now subject to fire-cracker assaults during its services (possibly the most dynamic thing to have happened there for years) but is also described as being in ‘the leafy suburbs’ of Bloomfield. How the times change!

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