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About the U.R.C.

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  • The URC stands in the Reformed tradition of Christian faith, believes in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and:
  • Finds the supreme authority for faith and conduct by the guidance of the Spirit in the Word of God in the Bible;
  • Looks to be continually renewed and reformed so as to fulfil its mission of witness and service in the name of Jesus Christ;
  • Practises both infant and believer's baptism and celebrates the Lord's Supper;
  • Recognises the ministry of God's people: all the members serving in the world and through the church, in particular: ministers of Word and Sacrament, elders, lay preachers, church related community workers (CRCWs), and workers from partner churches.

How was it formed?

The URC is a Union of:

  • The Congregational Church in England and Wales; (united in 1972)
  • The Presbyterian Church of England; (united in 1972)
  • The Re-formed Association of Churches of Christ (joined in 1981)
  • The Congregational Union of Scotland (joined in April 2000)

Who is in it?

The URC is composed of:

About 1600 local congregations;

150,000 adults, children and young people;

With more than 800 serving ministers, women and men

Over 400 local churches are united with other denominations, e.g. Methodist, Baptist, Anglican and Moravian.

The Local Church

  • Welcomes those who come from any church background or none;
  • Arranges its own worship, witness and service;
  • Celebrates the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper;
  • Has regular church meetings of members and an elected body of ordained elders who, with the minister, share pastoral and leadership responsibilities;
  • Seeks to develop ecumenical relationships.

Local churches are gathered into 13 geographical Synods – we are in Thames North Synod.

In the Thames North Synod there are six regional Areas – we are in the Chiltern Area.

The URC depends on the Voluntary Giving of its members :

  • Locally to provide for the worship and service of God amongst the people of the neighbourhood, in appropriate buildings, and
  • Centrally through each local church's contribution to the Ministry and Mission fund, which provides the stipends of ministers and Church Related Community Workers, supports worldwide mission and all central services.

Chiltern Group of churches

Trinity High Wycombe is one of 15 churches within the Chiltern Group of churches within the Thames North Synod.

The Thames North Synod

Gives practical help to churches in legal and property matters;

Encourages training;

Discusses matters of faith and policy and links to Assembly;

Fosters ecumenical relations and action;

Has a full-time Moderator who is a minister with a pastoral and leadership ministry within the Synod.

General Assembly

General Assembly is our biennial national assembly (held every two years) to celebrate and discuss the work of the church. For each Assembly, a lay moderator and an ordained moderator are elected, who then become the national representatives of the URC.

Mission Council

As the executive body of General Assembly, Mission Council meets twice a year. _council/mission_council

World Church

The United Reformed Church is part of the world church in many ways through our membership of:

  • The Council for World Mission (CWM)
  • The World Council of Churches (WCC)
  • The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC)
  • The World Convention of the Churches of Christ (WCCC) and
  • The Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council (DECC)
  • We both give and receive from the global Christian community.

Ecumenical Working

In Britain the URC shows its Ecumenical Commitment through its commitment to take further steps towards the unity of all God's people by working with:

  • Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS)
  • Churches Together in Wales (CYTUN)
  • Churches Together in England (CTE)
  • Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)
  • County ecumenical bodies
  • Local 'Churches Together' groups and many local ecumenical partnerships
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