The Synod supports the mission and ministry of our local churches.
Who We Are
Who's who at URC Thames North Synod?
A list of committees at URC Thames North Synod.
Find out about the structure of the United Reformed Church.
There are approximately 1500 local United Reformed Churches Across England, Scotland and Wales.
Thames North Trust
Find out about the Thames North Trust.
What We Do
How we undertake a range of functions to support our local churches.
Discipleship Steering Group
The DSG at the forefront of our commitment to whole life discipleship.
Children & Youth
News on our children's and youth work and activities.
Support for those working with children, young people and adults at risk of harm.
Church & Society Network
The Church & Society Network explores various church and society issues.
Work With Us
Current job vacancies within the Thames North Synod and our partner organisations.
Find a Local Church
Directory of our local churches within the Thames North Synod.
Weekly e-newsletters from the Synod.
Thames North Synod gathers for full Synod meetings 2-3 times a year.
Information and documents relating to Church Premises.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety Policy for the United Reformed Church Thames North Synod.
Additional resources & downloads.
The United Reformed Church has a conciliar structure which means that authority is exercised by Councils of the Church. The Councils are the Church Meeting, the Synod, and the General Assembly.
Each local church is constituted by holding regular Church Meetings. The Church Meeting has significant freedom to make decisions concerning the theological emphasis, leadership, membership, preferred pattern of worship and mission priorities relating to that Church. The church ordains and elects its own elders and is responsible for calling a Minister through the Church Meeting. Much of the day-to-day leadership of a local church is then undertaken by the Minister and Elders.
The Synod is made up of 113 local churches. 2-3 times a year, the Ministers and other representatives of those local churches gather to make decisions concerning issues that are best dealt with at Synod level. Areas covered include: collaborative work carried out by the churches collectively, provision of training for a variety of types of ministry and property issues.
Much of the work of the Synod is undertaken through a structure of committees, each of which oversees specific areas of the Synod’s work, such as leadership development, mission, children’s and youth work, property and finance.
Within the United Reformed Church, local churches are responsible for the day-to-day management of church buildings, but the ownership of church property resides with the Synod Trust. When buildings are no longer required for local church ministry the funds received from the sale of the building are held by the Synod to be used to benefit the mission and ministry of the other churches. These resources are invested and the income used to fund training for ministers and other church leaders, mission grants to local churches and staff posts to provide specialist training and support to the Synod’s churches. Thames North Synod is a registered charity and its trustees, known as the Synod Executive, are elected from within the Synod membership (the Ministers and other representatives from local churches).
General Assembly meets once a year and deals with matters affecting the entire United Reformed Church denomination (approximately 1500 churches across 13 Synods).
The United Reformed Church determines policy on a denomination-wide basis in areas such as the accreditation and training of ordained ministers, the movement of ministers between churches in different Synods, the development of relationships with other churches (both with other denominations in the UK and with partner churches around the world), and oversight of denomination-wide initiatives such as the Pilots children’s ministry, URC Youth, and multi-cultural ministry.
The three Councils generally operate in a bottom-up way (also known as the principle of subsidiarity). This means that the Church Meeting will handle the vast majority of issues relating to its mission and ministry, and only those issues that cannot be effectively addressed at this level will be dealt with by the Synod or General Assembly.
Thames North Synod has a team of specialist staff who support churches going through transition or experiencing difficulties. We are always happy to hear from Ministers, and take opportunities to explain what we are about!