WE ARE HADLEIGH UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
We are seeking to live in and live out the love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ
Welcome to Great Meeting
WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
A Church at the Heart of the Community
Hadleigh United Reformed Church, Great Meeting, is a Church at the Heart of the Community - we're located in the very centre of Hadleigh (just off Market Place) and have a wide engagement with the town community through our church programmes and the use of our premises.
The Church is very aptly named Great Meeting! It captures the essence of what we're about: a gathering of people who come together to meet with God, meet with each other and meet the needs of the community. Through such 'meetings' we are seeking to both nurture and share our faith in Jesus Christ. In addition to gathering together for our weekly Sunday Services, we also have a variety of other Ministries and Activities.
Hadleigh with Monks Eleigh is part of the URC's South Suffolk Area Partnership - a network of 21 local URCs, stretching from Haverhill in the West over to Felixstowe and Saxmundham in the East.
Providing Family, Celebrating Diversity and Serving the Community - through and for the love of Jesus Christ
At Great Meeting we particularly value that it's a place where you can feel like family. Everyone is welcome and we try hard to support and care for each other - whether attending to spiritual or practical needs.
We also celebrate our diversity. Even though Hadleigh is a fairly monocultural place, the church family is made up of people from a number of different countries and cultures. And our age range covers every decade up to 100! We enjoy different styles of worship and our members have a surprisingly broad range of theological views!
It's vital for us that we put our faith into practice by serving the community. The Church works closely with the Ansell Centre Charity, which uses the Ansell Centre to provide various services for the people of Hadleigh and the surrounding area. We also support FIND, the local foodbank and act as a referral centre in Hadleigh.
WHO'S IN CHARGE?
The Church Meeting is in charge of the church! The URC has retained a 'congregational' form of government, which means that all major decisions are discussed and decided at Church Meetings by Church Members. The AGM also elects members to serve as 'elders' for a period of four years. These Elders act as a leadership team and are responsible to the Church Meeting for the running of the church.
The Church Meeting also calls a 'Minister of Word and Sacraments' to serve the congregation and work with the Elders. The current minister is the Revd Bryn Rickards.
Decisions relating to the wider URC are also discussed and decided at the regional level through Synod Meetings and at the national level through a General Assembly.
THE HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH
Today’s Great Meeting has its roots in the Congregational Church’s Hadleigh Meeting of 1690. Throughout the 18th century, the church had a respected presence as the Protestant dissenting society in the town. After the building of the present ‘Great Chapel’ in 1832, growth in its witness was significant.
The Church continued to hold a prominent role in the town and surrounding district and opted into the national union between Congregationalists and Presbyterians in 1972, which formed the United Reformed Church of today.
In the 1830s, members of the Church opened a British School in Hadleigh, offering weekday education to the poorer children of the town. The school later moved into new purpose-built premises - today’s Ansell Centre - a building that continues to serve the Church and community.
So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.