Highworth United Reformed Church,
which traces its roots back to 1777, is a part of
The United Reformed Church was formed as a witness to the work to bring unity within the Christian Church in Britain. In 1972 the Congregational Union and other congregational churches across England, Wales and Scotland joined with the Presbyterian Church of England and Wales. In 1981 the Churches of Christ joined. Thus currently (2010) the URC has sixty-eight thousand members in 1500 congregations with nearly 70 ministers (paid or unpaid).The URC is part of the national Free Churches’ Group, Churches Together in England (CTE), the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), and the World Council of Churches (WCC) amongst other organisations. It is well-represented at various levels of national and local civic society, and in chaplaincies, sometimes with Baptists, Methodists and others.
The national mission statement is that we are: “Called to be God’s people, transformed by the Gospel, making a difference in today’s world.” The United Reformed Church meets every two years for a General Assembly, the national Council of the Church, which is composed of representatives from the thirteen synods. In between the national governance is in the hands of Mission Council.
Although in British terms we are one of the smaller large churches (or a larger small church) we are represented in many churches across the nation and play a dynamic and challenging part in the British Christian community. Partly this is because we have a passionate belief that all of God’s people should be one. As a practical expression of this we are part of more than four hundred Local Ecumenical Partnerships (over a quarter of our congregations) as well as being active in local ecumenical groups (as in Highworth). The denomination is committed to theological and cultural diversity. The URC has declared itself as a multicultural church, rejoicing in the gifts of members from across the world, seeking to hold together a wide variety of theological understandings, and valuing the different insights in helping the church understand the wonder and glory of God in the universe and at work in the world.
Worldwide, the Reformed tradition and family of churches has a membership in excess of 70 million people. They uphold the historic Trinitarian creeds of the church universal and find the supreme authority for their lives in the Word of God in the Bible, discerned under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They order their lives through the councils of the church, ‘where ministers and lay people together seek the mind of Christ’.
The United Reformed Church offers services of baptism to either children or adults. It offers services of thanksgiving and dedication for children. Most of our churches are registered for services of holy matrimony. The URC offer services of thanksgiving, burial or cremation for members and others. It ordains Ministers and Elders locally, as part of the national church. Ordination is for life, with elders serving local churches for an agreed period. The URC trains and accredits Church Related Community Workers (CRCWs) and Lay Preachers.
For more details you can download the booklet ‘What Is The URC?’ from the national website.
The URC has the following Statement of Faith
If you want to know more about membership of the URC see here.
The Christian Church globally has over two billion members and adherents (about a third of all humanity) and is a rapidly growing and dynamic groups of people, diverse in every colour, race and language spread across all nations and territories of the world, as well as occasionally in space (in orbit anyway !).
It is united in its belief that Jesus (born in Bethlehem around 4 BC, died and rose again around AD 30) is our living Lord and Saviour. For more details about Jesus look here
Christians believe that God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, loves each and every one of us and wants us all to follow Him. We believe that God speaks to us directly, through others and by the inspired Word of God, the Bible, our holy scriptures.