Church

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Church

What do you think about when you hear the word ‘church’? You might think of a big building which gets used on a Sunday. You might think of several buildings, some older ones which are named after saints, and some more modern, labelled ‘Baptist’ or ‘Methodist’. If you go to church, you might think about the people you meet there – the church community or family.

The word ‘church’ has a few meanings. On the one hand, it is the name of a building which Christians attend to worship God, learn more about Him and meet with each other. ‘The church’ also signifies the people in this building. There are different kinds of churches in the UK: Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Independent, Pentecostal to name just a handful. These different varieties of church are known as ‘denominations’. Each denomination is characterised by the way they worship and lead their church communities.

But ‘the Church’ (with a capital ‘C’) is the name used by Christians to refer to all those who follow Jesus around the world, and cuts across denominations. It began on the day of Pentecost, when thousands of people joined the new community of believers in Jerusalem, and has been spreading ever since. It now totals 2 billion people worldwide.

In this section you will find films to help you explore different church buildings, articles that showcase some of the different styles of worship in different denominations, and information about what happens in churches throughout the week. You can also find out about the beliefs and values shared by the Church community. Perhaps you can start by discovering what happened when the earliest Christians met together?

(For virtual tours of significant church buildings, please look at the ‘People’ section, under ‘Places’.)

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Church Articles

Independent Church

What is life like in an Independent Church?

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Independent Church

What is life like in an Independent Church?

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‘Independent’ really means ‘non-denominational’, because it doesn’t belong to some of the older denominations like the Anglican, Methodist or Baptist church. However, lots of churches belong to larger groups like New Frontiers International, or Vineyard. Independent churches might have their own building, but a lot […]

The Free Church of Scotland

What is worship like?

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The Free Church of Scotland

What is worship like?

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The Free Church of Scotland has around 100 congregations all over Scotland and approximately 12,500 people attend worship each week. The Church is “Presbyterian”, which means that decisions are made by a board of elders who are chosen from the congregation. It is Reformed, which means […]

Believer’s Blog

My life in the Orthodox Church

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Believer’s Blog

My life in the Orthodox Church

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“I go to an Orthodox Church. When I come into the church I make the sign of the cross because I am entering the house of God. I then go and kiss the icons and light candles by them. Icons are pictures which stand for, […]

The Pentecostal Church

What is life like in a Pentecostal Church?

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The Pentecostal Church

What is life like in a Pentecostal Church?

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The Pentecostal Movement grew out of the Holiness Revival of the second half of the nineteenth century. This revival arose out of a desire to see a significant change in the social and spiritual health of the nation. Many of those involved in the Holiness […]

The Church of Scotland

What is life like in the Church of Scotland?

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The Church of Scotland

What is life like in the Church of Scotland?

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  In this series of films Rev. Jim Cowan, a minister in the Church of Scotland talks about his calling, life and work in the church, as well as the Church of Scotland’s view of the sacraments.

Denominations

Why are there different denominations?

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Denomination Family tree

Denominations

Why are there different denominations?

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Over the years, the Christian church has divided into different groups called denominations. Although they share the same basic beliefs, or creed, the way they do things can be very different. This family tree shows how each new denomination branched out from an older one. […]

United Reform Church

What is the URC's mission today?

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URC mission

United Reform Church

What is the URC's mission today?

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The URC believe that as a church they are called to join in God’s mission.  They see mission as the reason the church exists.  With the aim of enabling the church to be mission-focused the URC has a  Mission Team.  Alongside the Mission Committee this […]

United Reform Church

What is the history of the URC?

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United Reform Church

What is the history of the URC?

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Although one of the smaller of Britain’s ‘mainstream’ denominations, the United Reformed Church stands in the historic Reformed tradition, whose member denominations make up the largest single strand of Protestantism with more than 70 million members world-wide. The United Reformed Church (URC) in England and […]

Dress a Vicar

When are the colours of the Church year used?

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Dress a Vicar

Dress a Vicar

When are the colours of the Church year used?

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Drag and drop the robes on to the vicar to learn more about when and why the different robes are worn.   Note: At the moment, this game only works on computers, not tablets or phones.

Church Tours

Come & see inside different types of church buildings

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St Mary Magdelene Church of England

Church Tours

Come & see inside different types of church buildings

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Church buildings come in all shapes and sizes. Take a guided tour around a few church buildings belonging to different Christian denominations. What do they have in common? What makes them different? What do they have in common? What makes them different? Can you spot […]