Always Reforming

The Reformers of the 16th Century believed that the church would always need to be reformed; as soon as the Church stopped being self-critical it would fossilize. Over the years this has meant that Reformed Churches have been able to adapt to, and learn from, what God was saying to us through our surroundings.

  • equal2We were, therefore, the first mainline tradition in the United Kingdom to recognise that God was calling women to the ordained ministry.

  • We recognised that God was telling us that marriages don’t always last forever and we should offer healing and a non-judgemental welcome to those who wish to remarry after divorce.

  • When much of the Church has been divided over the place of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people we have heard God’s call to live with difference and diversity of opinion whilst, at the same time, ensuring that membership and ministry is open to all.

At the heart of our tradition, therefore, is a need to be self-aware and self-critical.

All our structures, ideas, theology and ways of working are provisional - as God is still speaking.

This idea is encapsulated by George Caird in his hymn:

 

Not far beyond the sea, nor high above the heavens,

but very nigh your voice, O God, is heard.

For each new step of faith we take

you have more truth and light to break forth from your holy word.


Constance Coltman was the first woman ordained to Christian ministry in the UK. She was ordained within the Congregational Church. In 2015, a film about her call to ministry was made:

Trailer (2m28s)

Full Film (19m07s)

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