Union of Welsh Independents
Welsh congregational churches or Independents stand in the Puritan tradition. The first congregational congregation was founded at Llanfaches in 1639. Early founders were in the puritan tradition. Later several churches were founded and formed separate denominations. They embraced different theological positions. Finally the denomination was founded in 1872 as a voluntary association of churches. They called it Independent because each congregation claims to be under the authority of Christ. Individual congregations cooperate through associations. Now the Union works through six departments: finance, mission, ministry, education, churches, communication. The Union churches have much in common with other free churches in Wales. Ministers can freely move their ministry among them. The Unions council met once a year. The Union is a free and voluntary body, its aims to help to make churches a fellowship that serve Jesus Christ. The church has high emphasis on preaching the Gospel, and education, empowering church members. The denomination currently is working on a new mission strategy, the AGAPE program, started in 2005. The latest strategy is the Welsh Independents Development Program.
In 2004 it had 12 associations of churches and 500 congregations and 34,884 member. Now it has 450 churches, 31,000 members and 16 associations and about 107 ministers in 2006. The worship service are primary in Welsh language.
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