Taunton United Reformed Church has its roots firmly placed in the 17th Century. George Newton vicar of St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, and his curate Joseph Alleine, were ejected from the Church of England in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity.
They continued to meet with dissenters in the local area until the death of Alleine in 1669. In 1672 the Act of Toleration issued by Charles II made it possible for non-conformist churches to be established in England.
A building was then erected at Paul Street and named ‘Paul’s Meeting’, with George Newton as the first minister.
In Bishops Hull, Nathaniel Charlton another dissenter, established a congregation there and in 1672 his home was licensed as a Presbyterian Meeting House.
Such were the beginnings of Taunton and Bishop’s Hull congregational Churches. Buildings being erected in Bishop’s Hull 1718 and Paul Street in 1797
In 1968 Three Congregational fellowships came together under one Minister – Paul’s Meeting (today called Paul Street), Bishop’s Hull, and Rowbarton. A year later the site on which Rowbarton Church stood was needed for Road widening and the congregation united with the fellowship at Paul Street. Services continued at both Taunton and Bishop’s Hull.
In 1972 These two fellowships became Taunton United Reformed Church following unification of the English Presbyterian and Congregational Churches, with Churches of Christ joining the partnership in 1981 and The Congregational Church in Scotland joining as recently as 2000.
There are many memorials to past ministers and beneficiaries around the church. Books on some of the history of both our fellowships are available for those with an appetite for such things.
Today Taunton United Reformed Church enjoys good relationships with all the other churches in the town and is an active member of Taunton Christians Together. There also exists a special relationship with Temple Methodist Church with whom we engage in shared projects.