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From the URC News Release 7 July 2016

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The General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, the denomination’s executive body, meets from 8 to 11 July at Southport Convention Centre to consider and decide on a range of issues including the marriage of same-sex couples.

The URC’s General Assembly meets every two years to celebrate, discuss, and make decisions on the life and work of the URC.

Assembly’s first task will be the induction of the new Moderators of General Assembly – the Revd Kevin Watson and Mr Alan Yates – for a two-year term of service. Moderators are the URC’s figureheads, chairing major meetings and representing the denomination internally, at home and abroad.

Among the key items for discussion and decision is the resolution around the marriage of same-sex couples. Assembly is being asked to consider if the local church meeting is the relevant governing authority to give consent to register buildings for the marriage of same-sex couples. If passed, the URC would become the largest denomination in the UK to freely permit the celebration of the marriage of same-sex couples in church.

Also for decision will be a proposal to support a campaign for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, alongside a new environmental policy.

In addition Assembly will vote on joining the growing Churches’ Mutual Credit Union, providing savings accounts and lower-cost loans to people who may otherwise turn to pay-day lenders.

The moderators have chosen the Assembly theme People of the Way, calling for a time of renewed focus on the fundamentals of the Christian life; People of the Way is an invitation for United Reformed churches to return to the basics of their identity and life in Christ.

Mr Watson concluded: ‘We have a real need to celebrate being the people of God, and to celebrate being the United Reformed Church. Assembly will be a celebration of God’s grace, of what he has given us and what is embodied in God’s people’.


  • The United Reformed Church General Assembly 2016 takes place from 8 to 11 July at the Southport Convention Centre in Merseyside. The URC General Assembly meets every two years to celebrate, discuss, and make decisions on the life and work of the URC.
  • Resolutions discussed at the United Reformed Church General Assembly 2016 are published in the Book of Reports.

The United Reformed Church was formed in 1972 and today comprises approximately 80,000 adults and 45,000 children in 1,500 congregations. Its formation brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ. Worldwide, more than 80 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition.

From June News Update


Highlights include

  • Induction of new Moderators – Friday 2.30pm
  • Outgoing Moderators’ reflections – Friday 4.30pm
  • Election of Moderators 2018-20 – Saturday 10.30am
  • The Congregational & General Community Awards – Saturday 12 noon
  • Marriage of same sex couples – Saturday 4.30pm
  • Environmental policy and Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty – Sunday 2pm
  • Moderators-elect acceptance speeches and General Secretary’s report – Monday 9.30am

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