About our church
We are Kingston United Reformed Church, established in Kingston in 1673 as a Presbyterian Church and becoming a Congregational Church on our current site in 1775.
In 1972 the Congregational Church united with the Presbyterian Church at a national level to become the United Reformed Church. Our aims are to serve the people of Kingston as a church, and to open our adjacent 19-room Richard Mayo Centre to as many community groups and individuals as possible.
In 2005, we completed major work to the church (roof repairs and re-decoration) and to the Richard Mayo Centre (installing a lift and a state-of-the-art Training Room, modernising the Foyer and re-modelling other rooms).
Our own fundraising activities and donations raised over £200,000, and Trusts donated the remainder of the money needed.
2012: On Friday 5th October the 40th anniversary of the almalgamation of the English and Welsh Congregational churches with the English Presbyterian churches to form the URC was marked. This union of the separate denominations was the first since the Reformation.
The Church Covenant
We, the members of this Church, acknowledge God to be our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ His Son to be our Lord and Saviour.
We commit ourselves above all to God and to one another; to live in the unity of the Holy Spirit and in the order and love of a Christian Church.
We affirm our desire to follow the example and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the guidance of His Spirit; and to witness to His love, and serve His world, by the consecration of our talents, time and means.
We acknowledge our Church to be part of the United Reformed Church; to be in a Local Ecumenical Covenant with All Saints Church, and, by God's grace, we seek fellowship with all other Christian Churches, praying and working unity throughout the world.
The United Reformed Church
What is special about the United Reformed Church?
How our church works
Kingston United Reformed Church has around 200 members, led by our Ministers supported by a Personal Assistant and an advisory group of between 12 and 16 Elders. Elders have a wide remit to oversee KURC procedures, organisations, finances and buildings as well as to foster concerns in the congregation for outreach and the wider responsibilities of the church.
Nominated and elected by all church members at an annual election, Elders are appointed for a three-year period and may also serve for a continuous period of six years service after which they are required to stand down for at least one year before re-election. All church members are eligible to serve as an Elder.
The decision-making body of KURC is the Church Meeting which is held every two months and where all members have an equal vote.
Various committees run the many activities of the church, all of which are staffed on a voluntary basis by church members. We have a full-time Children, Youth and Families Worker. The Premises Manager is also a paid member of staff.
The Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP)
Kingston Churches Together (KCT)
(The Timeline mural shown above can be seen in the Meeting Room of the Richard Mayo Centre.)
This brief timeline of Kingston URC has been provided by John Fisher who is our Church Archivist and also a church member. He has minute books, magazines, cuttings and photos, and will gladly supply any historical information you might need.
The Boys' BrigadeThe Boys' Brigade was founded by William Alexander Smith in Glasgow in 1883 as the first national Christian Youth organization whose activities were spiritual, physical, educational and service-related.
The Boys' Brigade motto: 'Sure and Stedfast' seen on the anchor comes from the bible and is a quote from Hebrews Chapter 6 verse19 : 'which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil'. The spelling of 'stedfast' has been modernised in recent years and it now often appears as 'steadfast'.
Aim: 'The advancement of Christ's Kingdom amongst boys'.
The first captain, Percy Long was followed by a number of long-serving leaders, notably W Johnston, father of Janette Troy who is a current member of our church, and who ran the BB at Kingston URC/Congregational church for many years. He served for 27 years, both locally and on the BB National Executive.
In 1932, the Life Boys (later to become the Junior Section for boys of 9 - 12 years old, and the Anchor Boys for boys of 6 - 8 years old) were also started.
In its heyday, Kingston's Congregational Church Boys' Brigade (forerunner of the present URC) had over 100 members, and 10 leaders. 50 boys used to go to Summer Camp.
The Girls' Brigade
The final ten yearsIn 2001, as numbers of children and leaders declined, our Boys' and Girls' Brigades were combined and many of the activities were continued.