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Presbyterian Church in NI looks set to keep boycott

By Alf McCreary

The Presbyterian Church looks set to continue its policy of boycotting the Church of Scotland's General Assembly due to its more liberal attitude to same-sex marriage.

Tonight, around 800 Presbyterians from across Ireland will gather in Belfast to install the Rt Rev Noble McNeely, from Holywood, Co Down, to succeed the outgoing Moderator, Dr Frank Sellar.

It is likely that the Church will continue its policy of the past two years of not sending its incoming Moderator to the Scottish General Assembly in 2018.

In this year's Presbyterian 'Blue Book', which carries briefings on General Assembly matters, the Church stands by its traditional definition of marriage.

This controversial issue will come up for debate on Thursday when the General Assembly considers a report that originally recommended that the Irish Presbyterian Church should send its Moderator to the Scottish Assembly in 2018. However, this was withdrawn following the intervention of the Church's powerful General Council in April.

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