At our service on 12th February, Joy Mattis (right) was ordained by our Minister as an Elder of the United Reformed Church, and inducted to serve at Royal Wootton Bassett. She was welcomed with the right hand of friendship by existing Elders, Elizabeth and Andrew.
Eldership – What is it?
For the United Reformed Church, the eldership of a local congregation is a significant ministry. The eldership as it has come to us over the centuries has importance within the Reformed tradition, having been significantly shaped by the reformer John Calvin. Eldership is a distinctive part of Reformed identity. In 1972 when the Congregational Church of England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England united to form the United Reformed Church it was agreed that elders would have responsibility for the spiritual and pastoral oversight of the local church, alongside Ministers of Word and Sacraments. The ‘elders meeting was conceived in the very real hope that it would become a distinctive and vital part of every congregation. Elected by the local church meeting, elders are people in whom others have recognised the spiritual gifts that can aid the leadership of the church. At its best the elders meeting is at the heart of every local congregation, regardless of size, offering the impetus and leadership required for mission, witness, and service. Elders have an essential part in enabling the congregation to live a healthy and fruitful life as God’s people