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The History of Overton Church

Chapter 5:  United Presbyterian

In 1847, before the long vacancy was over and the third minister’s coming, an important union of churches did take place.


In that year, the United Associate Secession Church and the Relief Church united to form the United Presbyterian Church; and it was to that body our West Kilbride congregation now adhered.

What were the particular principles of this 'UP' Church?  It is good to pause and state them here, because the principles emphasised at that union are still quite fundamental in our Church of Scotland today.

The document forming the basis of union in 1847 set forth the authority of the Word of God in Scripture as the only rule of faith and practice.


It acknowledged the Westminster Confession of Faith, yet with the reservation that all intolerant and persecuting principles were repudiated.

The right of church members to elect their own office-bearers was asserted, as also the duty and privilege of all members to pay for the work of the Gospel.  Missions both at home and abroad were stated to be an obligation of the Kirk.


“The united church”, said the statement, “regards with a feeling of brotherhood all the faithful followers of Christ, and shall endeavour to maintain the unity of the whole Body of Christ”.