Independents or Congregationalists

[iii] Independents or Congregationalists traced their origins back to the Puritans of mid C17th and met in independent congregations. Each congregation appointed its own pastor and members were jointly involved in all aspects of church life and worship. During the period 1760-1810 the number of Congregationalists increased by c.78% and it is estimated they had approx. 800 churches by 1810. This increased to c3,200 by 1850. Greater co-operation developed between local churches during the Revival and this led to “county associations” or “unions” being formed between churches in the same locality. Twenty-one of these associations were formed between 1780 and 1810. In 1830 these associations linked up to form the Congregational Union.

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