The Savoy Declaration is a modification of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646). Its full title is A Declaration of the Faith and Order owned and practiced in the Congregational Churches in England. It was drawn up in October 1658 by English Independents meeting at the Savoy Palace, London.
The Savoy Assembly (not to be confused with the Savoy Conference a few years later) met at the Savoy for eleven or twelve days from 12 October 1658. Representatives, mostly laymen, of over a hundred independent churches were present. Thomas Goodwin and John Owen were the leaders in a committee of six divines appointed to draw up a confession.
They adopted, with a few verbal alterations, the doctrinal definitions of the Westminster confession, reconstructing only the part relating to church government; the main effect of the Declaration of the Savoy assembly was to confirm the Westminster theology. There was the addition of a new chapter entitled Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof. Other changes include a replacement to chapters 30 and 31 of the Westminster Confession concerned with Congregational church government. In these chapters the autonomy of local churches is asserted.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Goodwin, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.