Evangelical & Congregational
'The Principles of the Congregational Independents'

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prepared by the committee of
An Evangelical Fellowship Of Congregational Churches

from a draft written by
Rev. Gordon T. Booth, MM BD

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Preface to the 1995 reprint by Rev D. O. Swann, BA, BD, Cardiff.
Foreword by Rev. Hywel Jones, MA, Wrexham

Chapter 1   Who are the Congregationalists?
Chapter 2   The Biblical Nature of Congregational Churches
Chapter 3  The Church Meeting and Membership
Chapter 4  The Ministry in Congregational Churches
Chapter 5  The Confessions of Congregationalism
Chapter 6  Worship in Congregational Churches
Chapter 7  The Sacraments in Congregationalism
Chapter 8  The Future for Congregationalism

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Appendix 1   The Savoy Declaration with Foreword by Rev. D. O. Swann, BA, BD, Ashford

Appendix 2   The Objects, Basis of Faith, and Polity of an Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches

Published on behalf of

An Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches

Reprinted 1985

Reprinted 1995

Printed and Bound in at The Bath Press, Avon.

Further copies may be obtained from the E.F.C.C. Administrative Secretary, P.O. Box 34, Beverley, North Humberside HU17 8YU.

Preface to the 1995 Reprint

It is twenty-seven years since an Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches was first formed, and nearly fourteen years since Evangelical & Congregational first saw the light of day. This second reprint is a sure sign that Evangelical Congregationalism is very much alive. Orders for the book go regularly to Australia. New Zealand, South Africa and America, and as far afield as the Philippines. Increasingly people are becoming concerned to discover more about their historical roots, which go back to the early seventeenth century, and to stand firm on the excellent foundation laid down by our forefathers.

In an age when subjectivism is continuing to dominate our secular culture and to percolate through into the religious realm, it is good to have the clear doctrinal objectivity of the Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order printed alongside our Congregational Principles.

While we highly prize our Congregationalism, and thank God for our noble past, we are twentieth century Christians. We are, first and foremost, Evangelical Congregationalists, not Congregational Evangelicals. We are glad to stand shoulder to shoulder with all other Evangelicals who seek to preach 'the glorious gospel of the blessed God' (1 Tim. 1:11).

May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Head of the church, continue to make the Gospel to prosper everywhere.

Derek Swann

Some Relevant Dates


THE SAVOY DECLARATION OF FAITH AND ORDER: Messengers from 120 churches met at the Savoy in London and agreed a statement of Scriptural doctrines and church order.


ACT OF UNIFORMITY: After the restoration of the monarchy, Parliament passed an Act requiring all ministers to conform to the Prayer Book and the whole system of the Church of England. Some 2,000 would not do so and were turned out of their livings.


DECLARATION OF FAITH, CHURCH ORDER, AND DISCIPLINE agreed at the Annual Assembly of the newly-formed Congregational Union of England and Wales.


MANUAL OF CONGREGATIONAL PRINCIPLES published. Written by Dr R. W. Dale, a book frequently quoted herein and to which we are much indebted.




UNITED REFORMED CHURCH: About four-fifths of the Congregational Churches in England and Wales surrendered their Independency and joined with the Presbyterian Church of England to form the United Reformed Church.


It is a privilege to be asked to write a foreword to this publication by the committee of an Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches.

The Ecumenical Movement has not only confronted evangelical ministers and people with the need to determine afresh what the Gospel is but also what the church is. To attempt to do the first while refusing to do the second is tantamount to maintaining that there is no necessary connection between the Gospel and the church, and that one's evangelicalism can be justly restricted to the Gospel and not allowed to bring its effects to bear on the nature of the church and its life.

Congregational Independency in its origin and early years would not tolerate any hiatus between the Gospel and the church. John Owen wrote a treatise on The True Nature of a Gospel Church. This book seeks to make the same link and it argues for the Biblical nature of its distinctive ecclesiology in an earnest but responsible manner. Intensity of feeling is revealed but no intolerance of spirit. This book should be read by all who are concerned that our churches today should be to the glory of God.

Hywel R. Jones

Wrexham, 1980



Orange Street Congregational Church