The United Reformed Church

Part of something bigger

Who we are

The United Reformed Church is a family of Christians, serving our communities in the name of Jesus, in around 1,500 local churches from Orkney to Cornwall.

The URC has around 47,000 members in about 1,300 congregations with more than 600 ministers. More than 60,000 people worship in our churches each week, and many more take part in the weekday activities of the churches.


The URC was formed by uniting, in 1972, 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 also 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 (Baptist, Church of England, or Methodist to name a few).


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.


Okay we think this bit’s a bit more obvious than the other two, we just wanted the page to look uniform!

But there is a more serious point here. What is church? What is a church?

The church IS THE PEOPLE!

We think this document is a really easy way of understanding how the URC is structured. Take a look!

What we believe?

The beliefs of the United Reformed Church are nicely summed up in the Statement Concerning the Nature, Faith and Order. You can download it below.

The Yorkshire Synod is one of thirteen synods across three nations in the UK. You can find out more about the other 12 here.

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