The election of a new Presbyterian Moderator for 2021 has been postponed for a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The election for Rev David Bruce's successor was due to take place on February 2 and is hoped it will now take place in early March.
It is thought that this is the first time in the recent history of the Presbyterian Church that the election of a new Moderator has been postponed.
Dr Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church, said: "Over the past 10 months, due to the unprecedented and uncertain times that we have been living through, all organisations including churches, have had to look again at how they do business.
"Given the current restrictions in both jurisdictions to ensure people's safety we have pushed back the election of the Moderator-designate to the first Tuesday in March. This, of course, will be dependent on any restrictions pertaining at the time."
Traditionally a Moderator is elected on the first Tuesday in February when members from the 19 Presbyteries across Ireland north and south meet to discuss the candidates and send in their nominations to Church House in Belfast.
The names of the candidates are made public shortly before the election.
The votes are counted without delay and the name of the successful candidate is announced later that evening.
This year members have been advised that they cannot meet together to discuss the claims of the various candidates and to take part in the selection process.