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Reform Magazine | May 23, 2024

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We must stop meeting like this - Reform Magazine

We must stop meeting like this

John Bradbury, the General Secretary of the United Reformed Church, considers how the Church needs to change

The United Reformed Church, in 2021, began a Church life review, considering how the denomination needs to change in order to rise to the challenges facing us. After meeting for the first time in October, the Church Life Review Group made its first report to the Assembly Executive in November. The following is an edited extract of Dr Bradbury’s address in presenting the report. Having surveyed the ups and downs of God’s people throughout the Bible and Church History to set our own moment in context, he continued…

The Church in western Europe faces, I believe, an extraordinary moment of upheaval – the most significant since the Reformation. We live in a world where all but the most residual memory of the orthodox Christian faith has gone, and yet where children and young people pray far more frequently than their parents or grandparents. A world where our identity no longer comes so obviously from the social groups to which we belong. Rather, we construct them. A world in which we are more globally interconnected than ever before, and yet where something can be true for me, and not true for you, and it is worth merely a shrug. A world where we wonder whether, in the context of a climate emergency, there will even be a world to call home for our children and our children’s children….

John Bradbury is the General Secretary of the United Reformed Church. The report of the Church Life Review Group can be downloaded from


This is an extract from an article published in the March 2022 edition of Reform

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