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Ministers on More than One Roll

Guidance and advice for when a Minister is on the roll of more than one church.

  1. It has been the custom and practice of the United Reformed Church that a minister cannot be on the roll of more than one Church. However, following a recent appeal against a removal from the roll of ministers, ministries committee was requested to bring a statement on the matter to Mission Council or General Assembly to clarify when and if ministers of Word and Sacraments may be on more than one roll.
  1. In the affirmations that are required at ordination and every induction a minister of Word and Sacraments of the United Reformed Church makes a commitment to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church but, alongside that, a specific commitment to the United Reformed Church, in particular to exercise ministry in accordance with the Statement of Nature, Faith and Order of the United Reformed Church.
  1. Holding dual standing raises concerns regarding discipline; by accepting ordination and/or induction (or its equivalent) into a new church and accepting their discipline indicates that the minister is allowing this to supersede the previous discipline relationship, therefore compromising a commitment to the discipline of the URC.
  1. Therefore, any minister of the United Reformed Church who is received as a minister into another church, and not having resigned from the United Reformed Church roll of ministers, is deemed to have done so.
  1. Equally, any minister of another denomination who is received onto the roll of ministers of the United Reformed Church but who remains on the roll of another church will be regarded as wishing their place on the United Reformed Church roll to be revoked unless there are cultural, historical or financial reasons for maintaining their status as a minister of an overseas denomination.
  1. The only time-limited exception to this is that, in exceptional circumstances, normally, though not exclusively, because of moving from another country to the United Kingdom or vice versa, a minister may temporarily remain on two rolls in order to provide for a return to their former situation if the new one proves unsatisfactory. The status of any in that situation will be kept under review by the accreditation sub-committee (or its successor) and brought to a conclusion in line with this resolution within a maximum of three years.
  1. Any requests under circumstances outlined in paragraphs five and-or six should be addressed to the Accreditation sub-committee (or its successor) as part of the sub-committee’s responsibility to maintain the roll of ministers. Cases of doubt or uncertainty will be taken by the sub-committee to the ministries committee for resolution there.

Last revised: 2019 of Word and Sacraments

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