I bumped into the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church this morning in the Green Room at the BBC – as you do! I was exiting after doing thought for the day, he was there, with Stephen Lynas (PCI Press Officer), about to enter for the big slot on Good Morning Ulster, the first interview after 8am news headlines.
We were talking about the same thing.
Unlike the ‘old’ days, when Moderators and Presidents (Methodist) and Archbishop (CofI) and Cardinal (RC) were familiar names and faces in the media, responding to this or that atrocity or that or this political shenanigan, today, I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t recognise 3 of the big 4 if you threatened me. Not only that, I can name the CofI and RC leaders, because they are incumbents for several years, but the Presbyterians and Methodists have year long posts. And I couldn’t name them. And haven’t been able to for several years, despite the fact that I worship with the Presbyterians and work for the Methodists.
All four have disappeared from the media, and that’s no bad thing really, given that their input has been patchy over the years.
Today though, I was delighted to hear the Moderator, weighing in to the situation on Sunday. If you are unaware, check it out here. Not only that, but he spoke coherently and I think helpfully. Now some may say it’s a no-brainer for a Presbyterian to call on Sinn Fein to call off their protest…probably true. But it’s the fact of a Presbyterian Moderator commenting when he wouldn’t have been missed if he didn’t.
So well done Rev Dr Donald Patton.