‘The sun shone on London for 5 October 1972. Three thousand people, Congregationalists and Presbyterians, gathered to become the United Reformed Church, celebrating the fruition of nine years’ work and full of hope for the future. Leading churchmen danced in the aisle. They did not rejoice for the creation of a new Church, they hailed the dawn of a new age of the reunion of Churches.’
In this highly readable account, to mark the URC’s jubilee year, Stephen Tomkins takes us through the story of the Church from 1972 to 2022. It includes crushing disappointment as the hopes for uniting the Churches of Britain collapsed – and then creative soul-searching as the Church worked out what its mission in the world was going to be.
Storms of disagreement and tides of social change threatened to overwhelm the URC, but on its side it had pioneering creativity, a passion for engaging with the world and what the author calls ‘a genius for listening’.
Stephen Tomkins is the author of eight books of Christian historyand biography. He is the editor of Reform magazine