My friend, and former fellow-presbyter in North Belfast, Norman Hamilton, will succeed me in the moderatorial chair on the first Monday night in June. I wish him God’s blessing and much wisdom as he undertakes that role. I am confident that he will bring his own unique style to the position and will be a blessing to the whole church.
I hope that I will be able to deliver to him a situation in the denomination in which the PMS crisis is a thing of the past. I had hoped that when I took over from Dr Donald Patton last June that the PMS crisis would be resolved by September with the promised report from the PM’s Working Group. How naive I was! This moderatorial year has been dominated by the crisis which I would love to see resolved before another meeting of the General Assembly is convened. If that is achieved, then Norman will be able to concentrate on giving a lead with some more positive issues in the church and community, and will enable the church, under God, to move forward.
Norman will remember that he became convenor of the vacancy in the Carnmoney congregation after I resigned in August 2000, and so he has some experience already of mopping up after me.