How do I become a member?

Anyone is welcome to come worship with us in Lylehill. There is no test of membership or subscription fee required to attend any services. Anyone who attends on a regular basis is known as an adherent member of the church. If you financially contribute to the church and have a ‘Freewill Offering number’ which allows us to record your giving and claim back gift aid, then you become a contributing member. If you have taken communicant classes and been accepted by the Kirk Session at the end, then you become a communicant member. We review the membership on a regular basis. If anyone who has not taken communion in recent years without a good reason we will get in touch primarily to check how that person is doing, out of concern for them, but also to remind people of their promises to gather for worship and encourage them about the worth of doing this as we receive grace from God and encourage one another. If you are both a communicant member (having taken communion in the past two years), and a contributing member (having contributed in the past year) then you are also a voting member, allowing you to vote at congregational meetings; nominate and elect committee members, elders, and ministers; and be nominated yourself for committee or the eldership.

How do I request a baptism?

Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s saving promises which bring us into membership of the church. In the Presbyterian church we baptise infants, believing that God accepts them as members of his covenant family, and therefore of the church. It is a joy for us to baptise adult and children alike, welcoming them into the church. More than that, it is the responsibility of the church to baptise and welcome those who have faith in Christ.

If you would like to be baptised, speak to our minister who will arrange a discussion with you. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the Kirk Session to decide if you show evidence of Christian faith and we often rely on what we see and hear at church services. Christians are baptised into the church, which the Bible also refers to as the body of Christ and the beloved bride of Christ, so it is not possible to consider baptism without a clear commitment to gathering with the rest of God’s people at church.

If you would like a child to be baptised, we require that at least one parent show evidence of a Christian faith. Again this is something that is often most clearly demonstrated in the attitude towards church.

It is a our fervent desire to see many baptised and although we will not always be in a position to say ‘yes’ straight away to a request, we would never want to say ‘no’ either. Instead we would say ‘wait’ and ‘welcome’ and strongly encourage anyone who desire baptism, but does not yet show clear evidence of faith, to come, hear more of Jesus Christ, spend more time with people, and receive the grace of God.

Guidelines and advice from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland on baptism are available from the PCI website.

How do I take the Lord’s Supper?

You may know the Lord’s Supper by another name such as Holy Communion or Eucharist (which means thanksgiving). The Lord’s Table is open to all who have faith in him – it is his table, not ours! So visitors from other denominations and congregations are very welcome to join us as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

However the Lord’s Supper is a meal with a faith dimension. By faith we are lifted up to commune with God and have a taste of the heavenly banquet we will someday enjoy with him in person. This is a great gift and privilege, but carries with it a responsibility. We are warned in the Bible not to take the meal ‘unworthily.’ This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, or even really good to take the meal – otherwise no-one could take it! But it does mean that we need to repent of our sins and not hold on to sin when we take the bread and wine. Because we care about the people under our care, we require that members of the church receive instruction on the Lord’s Supper and demonstrate that they have a faith of their own before they become communicant members, which allows them to take the Lord’s supper.

Communicant classes are offered from time to time and can be arranged to suit those wishing to become members.

Presbyterians from other congregations who move to join our congregation can get a certificate of disjunction to transfer their membership.

You can find more information on the Lord’s Supper on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland website.