Banbridge native to be installed as Moderator

Rev David Bruce, who was born in Banbridge and baptised in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church in the town, is to be installed as the denomination’s new Moderator on Monday.

Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 5:23 pm
Rev David Bruce who has been installed as the new Moderator of the Presbyterian Church

The installation of Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, the 175th person to hold the office, will take place in Assembly Buildings, Belfast, on June 1, on what would have been the opening night of this year’s General Assembly.

The annual meeting was cancelled due to the current Coronavirus emergency and a small 25 person Standing Commission of the General Assembly was appointed to transact necessary business, including the installation of the new Moderator for the year 2020/2021.

Traditionally, the service from the historic Assembly Hall, would have been attended by upwards of 900 people from across Ireland, including past moderators, civic dignitaries, and representatives from other churches across Europe, Africa and Asia.

This year, apart from technical support, only four people will be physically present – the outgoing Moderator, Rt Rev Dr William Henry; Moderator-Designate, Rev David Bruce; and, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the General Assembly, the Revs Trevor Gribben and Jim Stothers.

Other people will participate remotely in a livestream from the Assembly Hall, leading in prayer and praise and reading from the Scriptures. Also taking part, but remotely via a video conferencing platform, will be members of the 2020 Standing Commission, which has been set up to conduct all necessary business of this year’s Assembly.

Speaking about the installation, Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Rev. Trevor Gribben described it as “a different kind of ceremony for a particularly unique time in our history”.

He said, “If we think back to that cold winter’s evening of February 4, when our Church’s 19 regional Presbyteries met and nominated David Bruce as our next Moderator, who would have thought that so many of the things that we have taken for granted, would have changed so much in such a short space of time?”

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