The United Reformed Church (URC)
St George’s was formed by the joining together of three former congregations inCarlisle. These were Charlotte Street Congregational Church, Fisher Street Presbyterian Church and Warwick Road Presbyterian Church. The combined congregation became known as St George’s United Reformed Church and worshipped in the Warwick Road Church building. From that time much has changed and continues to change in two main ways.
Firstly, not because it's more important but because it's resolved at least for the time being, is our place of worship, because the old building on Warwick Road had become far too much of a drain on our resources. Terms were agreed with the Cathedral and Anglican diocese for us to lease the old Resources Centre in the Cathedral precincts and to use part of the proceeds of the sale of the Warwick Road building to convert the Resources Centre into a comfortable, modern and adaptable place for worship and other use. Our last service in the Warwick Road building was on Easter Day in 2014. It then took more than a year to establish our new place of worship during which time we shared worship at the invitation of the Methodists at the Tithe Barn who are close to our new location. Our first service in the new premises was on Sunday 31st May 2015 and was led by our then minister, Revd Nick Mark. Subsequently a Service of Dedication (photograph) of the new premises took place on Saturday 21st November 2015 led by Revd Sarah Moore, then Cumbria Area President of the North West Synod of the United Reformed Church, in the presence of representatives of several other denominations.
Secondly, and much more fluid, is how we engage with the world beyond our doors. Long before our move we had joined with other URC Churches to form the North Cumbria Pastorate of five Churches with two ministers. But things moved on when the North Cumbria Pastorate came to an end late in 2019 and we became part of the Cumbria URC Missional Partnership which is a wider group which identifies strongly with the Cumbria Ecumenical County initiative. Our minister, Rev Nick Mark, has just (February 2020) retired after about 8 years with us during which time he worked tirelessly and led us in this ecumenical role. We therefore enter a period of vacancy while future ministerial arrangements are sought, and it up to us to help to maintain this ecumenical drive and to seek other opportunities for outreach or to alleviate human need.
The URC in Carlisle (St George’s)
The United Reformed Church (URC) is a ‘mainstream’ Christian denomination. In 2014 it comprised some 58,000 people in 1,472 congregations and has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ.
The URC continues to look and to work towards the eventual unification of all Christians. Worldwide, more than 80 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches which is the largest Protestant tradition. The name ‘Reformed’ is used because the churches began to emerge with reform movements in the sixteenth century.
Visit the URC National Website to find more about the United Reformed Church.