The Westminster Conference

The Westminster Conference meets for two days each year, usually in December. During the conference, six papers are presented, three on each day, examining the history, doctrine and practice of people, events and churches associated with the Puritans, their forebears and successors. The perspective is that of evangelical and reformed Biblical Christianity, focusing on central gospel themes such as grace, faith, atonement and justification and the outworking of the gospel in the lives of believers.

2020 Conference Online

We do not need to tell you that many plans have been disrupted over the course of the last few months.  In the light of ongoing restrictions on public gatherings, the conference committee have reluctantly accepted that the conference will not go ahead in its usual form in 2020.

In place of the usual conference, we are offering an online alternative. God willing, this will run from 2pm until 5pm on Tuesday 1st December 2020. Two of our original speakers will be joining us to deliver two papers, followed by a round table discussion.

At 2pm, David McKay, pastor of Shaftesbury Square RPC, Belfast, will speak on Luther and Authority. After a short break, at 3.15pm Leonardo De Chirico, pastor of Breccia di Roma, will address Bellarmine against the Reformers. Immediately following this paper, our two speakers will participate in a moderated round table discussion. We expect to conclude by about 5pm.

We would be delighted to have you join us. We also hope that this might be an opportunity for many who do not normally attend the conference in person to get a taste of the theology and history which we love to study and from which we delight to learn.

We should be grateful if you would register here so that we can keep you up to date with news on this event and, we hope, future conferences. Details for joining the online conference will be available nearer the time to those who have registered.

We sincerely hope that this will prove a wonderful opportunity to hear about these fascinating individuals, to learn important lessons for today, and to enjoy something of the flavour of the conference despite the present circumstances. We look forward to the participation of friends old and new.

As we are not holding a full conference this year, there will be no printed publication for 2020.

Brochure 2020


Tuesday 1st December 2020

DAVID MCKAY ~ Pastor of Shaftesbury Square RPC, Belfast

Luther stands astride the history of the Reformation like a colossus. We all know, or think we know, his famous, “Here I stand …” But what governed his life and bound his heart? Who or what directed Luther’s steps? In some respects, he could be seen as a flamboyant rebel with a stiff neck. In others, he appears a humble subject with a bent knee. We need to see him in a milieu in which authority was very differently understood in comparison to our own day, and to learn how he wrestled with and submitted to authority, whether God’s or man’s.

LEONARD O DE CHIRICO ~ Pastor of Breccia di Roma

If you read much Protestant and Reformed theology from the 16th and 17th centuries, especially of a more polemical kind, you are likely to come up against the name of Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621). Who was this man, and why was he such a significant interlocutor with the Reformers and their successors? Leonardo De Chirico will introduce the man, survey his works and his thought, and help us to understand how and why he became one of the most prominent and even respected opponents of the Protestant Reformation.