The United Reformed Church came into being on 5th October 1972, and was the culmination of nine years of serious discussion and decision at all levels of the Church from local congregations to the Annual General assembly. Initially, the union was between the Congregational Church of England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England. This was a bold step of faith at the time, since this was the first act of unity in the United Kingdom across such Church ‘barriers’ since the Reformation. It came about from a desire to establish ‘one Church, one faith one Lord’.
Further developments followed in 1981, when the Reformed Association of the Churches of Christ elected to join the newly formed Church, followed in 2000 by the Congregational Union of Scotland.
The United Reformed Church is committed to unity at all levels – locally, nationally and internationally. As a Church, it declares its intention in fellowship with all the Churches, to ‘…pray and work for such visible unity of the whole Church as Christ wills…in order that all people and nations may be led more and more to glorify the Father in heaven.’ In this respect, the United Reformed Church seeks to share ecumenically, those things we share in common rather than those that separate us.
The United Reformed Church combines
- a commitment to the local congregation as the focus of mission;
- a care and concern for each other within a Synod;
- an emphasis on the preaching of the Word of God;
- a sharing of leadership by Minister and Elders;
- decisions are made by meeting together in council;
- authority is exercised by Church Meeting, Synod and General assembly, each working together with others;
- a commitment to further unity with other Churches;
- a respect for individual conscience within the peace and unity of the Church.
More information about the URC can be found at www.urc.org.uk