The Last of the Seceders

The Last of the Seceders - the Original Secession Church in Ireland, 1841-1956
by Godfrey Brown

When the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod united in 1840 to form the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, there were two small groups of former Seceders who decided to maintain a separate witness.  Both called themselves ‘Original Seceders’.  One had its own Irish Synod, professing continuity with the Seceding tradition in Ireland that went back to 1746.  The other smaller group belonged to the Scottish Synod and its Presbytery of Down and Derry.

The story of these small bodies and their struggle to preserve their convictions and traditions is a fascinating one.  In the end, one congregation after another fell victim to circumstances over which they had no control.  Their final two congregations joined the General Assembly in 1956.  This booklet tells their story and in so doing helps to point up some lessons for our own time.

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cover image - The Last of the Seceders