What do we believe?

We do not impose tests of belief on one another, for such things are between each person and God. Anybody and everybody is welcome to worship with us and to receive Holy Communion. As a national Church, the United Reformed Church has made several statements of faith.

In 1997, the General Assembly agreed the following Statement of Faith, which is an official doctrinal statement:

  1. We believe in the one and only God, Eternal Trinity, from whom, through whom and for whom all created things exist. God alone we worship; in God we put our trust.
  2. We worship God, source and sustainer of creation, whom Jesus called Father, whose sons and daughters we are.
  3. We worship God revealed in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh; who lived our human life, died for sinners on the cross; who was raised from the dead, and proclaimed by the apostles, Son of God; who lives eternally, as saviour and sovereign, coming in judgement and mercy, to bring us to eternal life.
  4. We worship God, ever present in the Holy Spirit; who brings this Gospel to fruition, assures us of forgiveness, strengthens us to do God’s will, and makes us sisters and brothers of Jesus, sons and daughters of God.
  5. We believe in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, united in heaven and on earth: on earth, the Body of Christ, empowered by the Spirit to glorify God and to serve humanity; in heaven, eternally one with the power, the wisdom and the love of God in Trinity.
  6. We believe that, in the fullness of time, God will renew and gather in one all things in heaven and on earth through Christ, and be perfectly honoured and adored.
  7. We rejoice in God who has given us being, who shares our humanity to bring us to glory, our source of prayer and power of praise; to whom be glory, praise and adoration, now and evermore.

In 1990, the General Assembly agreed the following Statement of Nature, Faith and Order, which is read at certain occasions in the life of the Church:

With the whole Christian Church the United Reformed Church believes in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The living God, the only God, ever to be praised.

The life of faith to which we are called is the Spirit’s gift continually received through the Word, the Sacraments and our Christian life together. We acknowledge the gift and answer the call, giving thanks for the means of grace.

The highest authority for what we believe and do is God’s Word in the Bible alive for his people today through the help of the Spirit. We respond to this Word, whose servants we are with all God’s people through the years.

We accept with thanksgiving to God the witness to the catholic faith in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We acknowledge the declarations made in our own tradition by Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Churches of Christ in which they stated the faith and sought to make its implications clear. Faith alive and active: gift of an eternal source, renewed for every generation.

We conduct our life together according to the Basis of Union in which we give expression to our faith in forms which we believe contain the essential elements of the Church’s life, both catholic and reformed; but we affirm our right and readiness, if the need arises, to change the Basis of Union and to make new statements of faith in ever new obedience to the Living Christ. Our crucified and risen Lord, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection.

Held together in the Body of Christ through the freedom of the Spirit, we rejoice in the diversity of the Spirit’s gifts and uphold the rights of personal conviction. For the sake of faith and fellowship it shall be for the church to decide where differences of conviction hurt our unity and peace. We commit ourselves to speak the truth in love and grow together in the peace of Christ.

We believe that Christ gives his Church a government distinct from the government of the state. In things that affect obedience to God the Church is not subordinate to the state, but must serve the Lord Jesus Christ, its only Ruler and Head. Civil authorities are called to serve God’s will of justice and peace for all humankind, and to respect the rights of conscience and belief. While we ourselves are servants in the world as citizens of God’s eternal kingdom.

We affirm our intention to go on praying and working, with all our fellow Christians, for the visible unity of the Church in the way Christ chooses so that people and nations may be led to love and serve God and praise him more and more for ever. Source, Guide, and Goal of all that is: to God be eternal glory. Amen.

More detailed information on these matters is available in the URC Manual, which can be consulted by clicking here.

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