Reformed History

the stories which shaped who we are and what is important to us today

The European Reformation

95 reasons to be grateful!

The Reformers

Men with caps

The Dissenters

1662 and all that!

A New Church

United Reformed Church

Our roots

Being reformed sets us in a stream of tradition that goes back 500 years. In 1517 Martin Luther launched a movement of challenge in the Church that we call the Protestant Reformation.

Changes came quickly. Bibles were translated and printed in languages everybody used (not just in Latin). There was a new emphasis on the importance of the whole church and everybody in it – members and ministers together.

Being reformed is part of our DNA. It reflects our continual aim of reforming ourselves to be a Church for the present day.

Being reformed means that we delight in exploring the Bible, we do not fear change, and we try to run our churches in ways that take everyone’s insight and contribution seriously.

The history of the URC

The creation of the United Reformed Church in 1972 formally merged the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales. One Member of Parliament at the time described this merger as: “one of the most historic measures in the history of the Christian churches in this country.”

The denomination expanded when Churches of Christ joined it in 1981, followed by Scottish Congregationalists in 2000.

The URC is a nonconformist Church. Put most simply, this means that we are not an ‘established’ Church, with a formal link to civil authority like, for example, the Church of England has.

and However, the URC is committed to working closely with Churches of all traditions, in prayer and social action, and many of our local churches are now united with local churches from other traditions (Methodist, Baptist, Church of England, to name a few). 

The Faith and Order Committee produced a booklet to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Explore how many of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today started with this movement for reform in religious and civil life. 

We are

the United Reformed Church

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