European partners

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As a Church of the Reformation which began in continental Europe, the URC has many links with pan-European churches and ecumenical bodies. It is a member of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) which includes Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox and Reformed Churches. It is also a member of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). The URC is the only church with a presence in England to be a member of the World Council of Reformed Churches.

In the wake of the EU referendum, the URC General Assembly passed a resolution celebrating our Reformed European heritage and identity, and promising to uphold our ongoing ecumenical relationships with partner European churches. If your church is actively involved in a link with a continental church please let ecumenical and inter faith relations at Church House have the details, by contacting We would like to support and encourage you in this important ecumenical work.


For over 60 years the URC has had a Covenant of Pulpit and Table Fellowship with the Protestant Churches in the Palatinate region of Germany, the ‘Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz’. Around twenty local URC’s are twinned with partner German churches from the region. Regular exchanges and youth visits take place each year. There is a bi-annual theological consultation - the last one was in September 2018 and considered how the British and German churches can speak into an increasingly divided Europe. For Remembrance 2018, a unique British-German commemoration booklet was published entitled: One hundred years after the First World War: Looking back, looking forward, and the German and British churches share Advent and Lent resources.

Remembrance Hymn - For the Beauty of the Somme

In 2018 Pfarrer Martin Henninger, Minister of the Lutherkirche in Frankenthal, and the Revd David Pickering, then Moderator of the Synod of Scotland, wrote a remembrance hymn for the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, following their joint pilgrimage to the Somme.

The hymn has been arranged and recorded by Roo Stewart, Programme Support Officer (URC Church and Society) with vocals by Roo Stewart and Debs Brooks. The version posted here was used at the Bilton Grange and Knaresborough URC remembrance day service in 2020.

A solely instrumental version can be found here.

You can read a further explanation of the hymn by David Pickering here.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Members of the United Reformed Church and the Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz met in Frankenthal from November 7-11 to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Many local URC and EKP churches are in twinning or similar partnerships. 

On 9th November 2019, the day marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 29 years since leading to the reunification of Germany, and the 81 years since Kristallnacht, leaders of the United Reformed Church and the Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz signed a statement that acknowledging with sadness that around the world, physical and imagined walls are once again being built. Later in the same month, this declaration was then endorsed by the URC’s Mission Council and the Landessynode of the Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz. Mission Council and the Pfalz Synod wholeheartedly embraced the statement which declares that: differences of opinion, culture, faith and conviction are treated with respect; that we all speak out against racism in all forms and report all incidents; that we underline our commitment against anti-semitism and any form of religious hatred; that refugees are not used as scapegoats but rather seen as those who enrich communities; that we strive for unity lived out in our churches as an example for our societies; that we recommit ourselves to the spirit of the first Covenant of fellowship signed in 1957. 

Read the statement in full

Visit the Flickr gallery with photos and videos from the Fall of the Wall Conference

Keep up to date with the latest news, stories and pictures from this active partnership by clicking on the link for the newsletter (you can sign up to receive your own copy direct).

URC Palatinate Partnership newsletter archive


The relationship between the churches which formed the URC in 1972 and the Waldensian Church (Chiesa Valdese) in Italy, goes back to Reformation times – though the Waldensian ‘movement’ started in the 12th century. In 1655, Oliver Cromwell organised a collection to be made among English churches to give financial support, after the Waldensians had been attacked by the Savoy army, with John Milton writing his famous sonnet, On the Late Massacre in Piedmont, for the occasion; and there were close ties in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries between the Waldensians and the Presbyterian Church of England, including regular moderatorial visits to Italy.

Since 1981 the URC-Waldensian Fellowship has been encouraging ‘ordinary’ church members to meet, through organised visits in both directions, individual and church contacts, and the biennial ‘Gathering’, which has a speaker from Italy. In 2018 a URC group visited Calabria and Puglia and plans are underway for a trip to the historic Alpine Valleys in 2020. See here for more information about the United Reformed Church Waldensian Fellowship visit to the Waldensian Valleys and the coast of Liguria which will take place between Monday 25 May and Friday 5 June 2020.

The Waldensians, noted for their strong commitment to helping the oppressed, and to clear thinking on ecumenical, ethical and theological matters, have an excellent website in English here. Anyone interested in further information should contact

Servizio Cristiano is a diaconal project belonging to the Waldensian Church in Italy. Founded in 1961 by Tullio Vinay, a Waldensian pastor who became a Senator in Parliament, Servizio Cristiano today continues his social, cultural and educational commitment to helping the weakest in society.


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