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congregationalism


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Protestant churches based on local autonomy and the equality of all believers. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only sacraments accepted. As in other reformed Churches, there are ministers who carry out pastoral and liturgical duties. Their ordination rests with the congregation they serve; there is no formal hierarchy, though in practice senior ministers exercise oversight in particular areas. The Congregational Church in England and Wales merged with the Presbyterian Church of England in 1972 to form the United Reformed Church; in the USA the Congregational Christian Churches merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1957 to form the United Church of Christ.

Subjects: Christianity — History.


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