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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LMA/4066
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1808-1991
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.18 linear meters
Name of creator(s): Congregational Church of England and Wales
United Reformed Church


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first organised congregationalism in the area covered by the Southern Province (the area south of the River Thames) was the Surrey Mission formed in 1797 by James Bowden of Tooting, established to organise the visits of ministers to villages with the object of teaching the Gospel. The mission was not however purely congregational and increasingly there was a need for the development of organised congregationalism in its own right.

The Surrey Congregational Union was formed in 1863 'to promote the union and efficiency of the churches, and the spread of evangelical religion, to advance the principals of Nonconformity and to uphold and enlarge civil and religious freedom'. Main work was aiding smaller churches and fostering new congregations in the districts. It included the London geographical area of the ancient county of Surrey up to River Thames. With the extension of the London Congregational Union, churches belonged to both Unions until 1946 when a line of demarcation was agreed and the London Union was extended south. The Surrey Union formed part of the Southern Province of the Congregational Union of England and Wales.

In 1972 the United Reformed Church (URC) was formed following the union of the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church of England and Wales. The URC is divided into 13 Synods or Provinces and throughout England, Scotland and Wales there are around 1750 URC congregations served by some 1100 ministers, both men and women. The Church is governed through democratic Councils. The Synods give practical help to churches in legal and property matters, encourage training, discuss matters of faith and policy and provide links to Assembly. Each has a Moderator who is a minister with a pastoral and leadership ministry within each Synod Province. The Southern Province Trust was formed in 1981. In 2003, the Registered Office for the Southern Province was based at the Synod Office, Croydon and covered 7 districts and 181 churches.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of constituent churches of the United Reformed Church Southern Province Trust, 1808-1991, including: Battersea Bridge Road United Reformed Church baptism registers 1846-1991 and Church Meeting minute books; Plumstead United Reformed Church baptism registers, 1924-1977; Clapham Congregational Church committee meetings minute book; George Street Chapel, Croydon, committee meetings minute book; Camberwell Green United Reformed Church property trust papers and Hither Green Mission property trust papers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into the following groups: Battersea Bridge Road United Reformed Church (LMA/4066/A); Plumstead United Reformed Church (LMA/4066/B); Clapham Congregational Church (LMA/4066/C); Croydon George Street Chapel (LMA/4066/D); Camberwell Green United Reformed Church (LMA/4066/E); Hither Green Mission (LMA/4066/F).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in two accessions in 1998 and 2002 (B98/170; B02/084).

Allied Materials

Related material:

See other Southern Province United Reformed Church collections: Streatham (LMA/4272), deeds for churches in Plumstead, Putney, Tooting and Woolwich (see LMA/4308-4311) and Plumstead United Reformed Church (LMA/4144). There are also holdings for Thames North and Thames South Provinces (LMA/4303) and records catalogued under individual United Reformed Churches.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to March 2009

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