In its previous existences the United Reformed Church has produced five editions of the Manual. The Unifying Assembly in Glasgow in April this year provided the stimulus for this new edition. Account has been taken of all the relevant decisions taken then and at the annual meeting of the General Assembly in July.
Sections A to D contain the foundation documents of the Church. They have been agreed by the General Assembly - or in the case of section D by Act of Parliament - and they can only be changed by the body which agreed them. They apply throughout the United Reformed Church. Sections E and F contain guidance which the Assembly has given from time to time.
The sections on the General Assembly (G-J) are intended to explain how the Assembly works through committees, and then to indicate Assembly policy on ministerial remuneration, pastoral matters and equal opportunities.
The sections on Ministries and Training (K and L) have been prepared by the committees responsible for these areas and contain information on current policies and procedures.Section M contains information for local churches. The topics covered are very varied. Most of the information is of a legal nature.
The index of Assembly resolutions (N) is intended to help those who want to know what the Assembly has decided on a particular topic. However it is by no means a complete record of all decisions. The references are to the Assembly Record of the relevant year: those who do not have copies are referred to their synod office.
Section O contains the Disciplinary Process for ministers, which has been approved by the General Assembly. This is essential reading for anyone involved in a disciplinary matter in any way, or who thinks it possible that they might be so involved.