Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Paisley to be re-elected as Church moderator

Church moderator: Ian Paisley

Ministers and elders of the Free Presbyterian Church are tonight set to re-elect Ian Paisley as moderator.

Despite speculation that the First Minister could stand down, or face a challenge at the annual general meeting of the Presbytery, it appears likely he will be reappointed for another year.

A senior figure told the Belfast Telegraph: "We are not expecting anything untoward".

And asked if Mr Paisley was likely to remain moderator, a position he has held for more than 50 years, another well-placed source said: "I think that will be the outcome."

Mr Paisley and his family declined to make any comment but it is understood he will seek re-nomination.

The meeting will be given a report from a committee set up shortly before the summer to examine the difficulties and concern within the Church over the DUP's power-sharing deal with Sinn Fein.

It is known there has been consternation within some congregations but senior sources have indicated no challenger to Mr Paisley has emerged. There have been signs, however, that the Church could seek to distance itself from the DUP.

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