Courage, Conscience and Conviction
Newport Congregational Church started when Robert Tutchin, the Minister of the Parish Church, was ejected on 24th August 1662 . He took some of his Church of England congregation with him to worship in local fields and barns.
In 1689, the Act of Toleration which allowed some freedom of worship for non-conformists meant that the congregation of around 20 were able to acquire a building in the centre of Newport, and the new church became a reality.
Such was the respect for Robert Tutchin, the Minister of the Puritan Congregation, whose traditions still live on today, that when he died in 1671, he was buried in the Parish Church. The funeral sermon was delivered by its vicar. Clearly, although there may have been differences in worship style, they were one in Christ.
Building Church and Community
A succession of ministers led the church through the next 2 centuries, although in the early 1800’s a split occurred, and a separate chapel was built in the town. In the mid-Victorian era, a chapel was built a few yards from the old one, and the two congregations united in the new building. This chapel continued in use until 2004 but, with its structural condition deteriorating, an offer was made to purchase the building and a decision in faith was made to sell it, not fully knowing the future. When a new site became available in the town centre which comprised of a shop and a car park, it was purchased. The shop was used for worship until the building work was finished.
Unity in our Diversity
What took place 350 years ago was painful for many. Those who dissented and those who remained both experienced loss. However, out of that time there came an expression of Christianity distinct from both Roman Catholic and the Anglican traditions. Since then, many other expressions of Christianity have emerged such as Methodism, Baptists, The Salvation Army and many more.
What is a Congregational Church?
It is an Independant Church that is a part of The Congregational Federation.
This is a small Christian fellowship of churches in Great Britain comprising just under 300 congregations. The Federation brings together independent churches characterised by a congregationalist church governance and Dissenting theology. (ie it does not come under the authority of the Church of England). It provides support and guidance to member churches both financially and otherwise.
The Federation was formed in 1972 from those Congregational churches which did not enter the union of the Presbyterian Church of England with the Congregational Church in England and Wales (the body that succeeded the Congregational Union of England and Wales in 1966) to form the United Reformed Church
Logo of the Congregational Federation.
Classification - Protestant (Protestantism is the second-largest form of Christianity with a total of 800 million to a billion adherents worldwide or about 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the catholic church)
Orientation Free Christian, Dissenting (In Britain, the term Free Christian refers specifically to individual members and whole congregations within the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.)
Polity (Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a church or of a Christian denomination. It also denotes the ministerial structure of a church and the authority relationships between churches. Polity relates closely to ecclesiology, the study of doctrine and theology relating to church organization.)
Congregationalist Associations - (Congregationalist polity, or congregational polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of ecclesiastical polity in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous".
International Congregational Fellowship
Region -Great Britain
Origin- Formed in 1972 from congregations which did not join the United Reformed Church
Congregations- 294 (2014)
Publications- The Congregationalist
Official website- http://www.congregational.org.uk