The United Reformed Church (URC)
The word “Reformed” in the United Reformed Church refers to our roots in the 16th century Reformation.
The word “United” refers to the union, in 1972, of two British denominations – the Congregationalists and Presbyterians, that shared such Reformation roots. In 1981 we were joined by Churches of Christ, and in 2000 by the Congregational Union of Scotland.
That said, we are very ecumenically minded in the URC and work with all the major Christian denominations (as well as with new churches), both locally in ‘Churches Together’ groupings (see our Links page), and at national level. We are part of the broader Christian family in all its diversity.
One of the distinctive aspects of URC local churches is the way we are organised. We are not always a “parish” church relating to a specific geographical community, but sometimes more of a “gathered” church. People come to our churches because they choose to be part of these particular fellowships.
URC churches are led in ministry by a team of Elders elected by the Church Meeting and working in partnership with the pastorate Minister. The sense of being a gathered community runs throughout our fellowship. We make decisions together. We plan together. We minister together.
A key to the Reformed tradition is that every member is a minister, and our goal as a church is to strengthen and equip the fellowship for this work of ministry.
So what is the “Reformed” tradition? At the end of the day, it is you, your membership, and your ministry as part of the team.