Reformed Church of France

Reformed Church of France

Infobox Christian denomination
name = Reformed Church of France
caption =
main_classification =
orientation =
polity = Presbyterian
founded_date =
founded_place =
separated_from =
parent =
merger =
separations =
associations =
area = France
congregations =
members =
footnotes =


The Reformed Church of France ( _fr. L’Eglise Réformée de France, ÉRF) is a denomination in France (originally Calvinist). It is the original, and largest, Protestant denomination in France.

The church is a member of the Protestant Federation of France (Fédération protestante de France), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches.

The church has approximately 350,000 members, distributed in a somewhat unequal fashion throughout French metropolitan territory with the exception of Alsace-Lorraine and the Pays de Montbéliard. The church consists of 400 parishes, organised in 50 presbyteries (consistoires) and eight administrative regions.


Background to formation of the Reformed Church of France

Emerging from the Reformation in the 16th century, the reformed Churches were organised in a non-official, undercover fashion. The first national synod was held in 1559, its first formal confession of faith (The La Rochelle confession) in 1571. Recognised and restricted by the Edict of Nantes in 1598, the last official synod met in 1659, subsequently the church was suppressed by the Edict of Fontainebleau (revocation of the Edict of Nantes) in 1685.

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes began a period of systematic state persecution (known as the Desert (in French, "Désert"), an allusion to the sufferings of the Hebrews when they wandered in to wilderness following the flight from Egypt) coupled with mass emigration to other European countries and North America (in French, "les pays de Refuge"). The aftermath of the French Revolution began a period of toleration and legalisation. In 1802, the church was recognised in accordance with the Organic Articles (les "Articles organiques") which followed Napoleon Bonaparte's concordat with the Roman Catholic Church. This permitted a local and non-national organisation of the church, which did not reflect the traditional organisation, (synods, participation of lay members in the pastoral organisation of the Church etc.)

In the 19th century, the Awakening ("le Réveil") and other religious movements influenced French and European Protestantism, this was also accompanied by division within French Protestantism. At the time of the promulgation of the Separation of Church and State in 1905, there were no less than four groupings of the Reformed Church: the Evangelical Reformed Churches ("les Églises réformées évangéliques"), the United Reformed Churches ("les Églises réformées unies"), the Free Reformed Churches ("les Églises réformées libres") and the Methodist Church ("l'Église méthodiste").

The Reformed Church of France today

The horrors of the First World War combined with new departures in theology (in particular the thought of Karl Barth) allowed for a partial restoration of a national grouping: the Reformed Church of France (French: "L’Eglise Réformée de France, ÉRF"). This grouping is the largest of the four French Protestant grouping and is in full communion with the other three (which are also members of the World Council of Churches): the Evangelical Lutheran Church of France ("l'Église évangélique luthérienne de France") and the two Protestant churches of Alsace-Lorraine.


The 30th General Synod held 1872-1873 was the first national synod held in 213 years. The General Synod arrived at a new confession of faith, the main principles of which were rejected by an important minority. The 'official' practice of the reformed faith in France distanced itself from stricter Calvinist interpretations. The current Reformed Church profited from liberal currents in reformist theology including, pietism, neo-Lutheranism, Methodism, social Christianity etc. The opportunities, substance and limits of theological pluralism are set out in the 1936 Declaration of Faith (which is read at the opening of all synods, adherence to which is required of all pastors licensed to preach and the laity who express membership of the Reformed church)

Organisations & Relations

The church is organised according to a Presbyterian synodal system, with an annual national Synod, composed mainly of representatives from each of the eight administrative regions with equal numbers of clergy and laity in attendance. The president of the National Council ("Conseil national") is elected every three years by the Synod. The current president is pastor Marcel Manoël.

ister denominations & Fraternal Relations

The Reformed Church in France is also involved in the work of other Protestant churches in France, through its membership of the Protestant Federation of France (Fédération protestante de France)


In common with other churches, the Reformed Church in France operates a missionary service (le Défap). The mission service supports reformed churches in Africa and Oceania, primarily those arising from the work of the now defunct Paris Evangelical Misionary Society (Société des missions évangéliques de Paris)

Theological Seminaries

Training for the ministry takes place in the Institut Protestant de Théologie, which forms part of the Protestant theology faculties of the Universities of Paris and Montpellier.

Universities, Colleges, and Schools

The church also operates a distance education programme for lay members: Théovie.


'. The new logo of the Reformed Church of France is a stylised representation of the burning bush with the Huguenot cross as an insert, and the Latin phrase "Flagror Non Consumor" (Burned, yet not Consumed) taken from Exodus 3:2b - ...and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Terminology & Acronyms

ee also

*Edict of Nantes
*Edict of Fontainebleau
*John Calvin
*Huguenot Cross


External links

* [ Official website (in French only)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Reformed Church of France — ▪ French Protestant denomination French  Église Reformée de France,        church organized in 1938 by merging several Reformed churches that had developed in France during and after the 16th century Protestant Reformation. During the early part… …   Universalium

  • Swiss Reformed Church — The Reformed branch of Protestantism in Switzerland was started in Zurich by Huldrych Zwingli and spread within a few years to Basel (Johannes Oecolampadius), Berne (Berchtold Haller and Niklaus Manuel), St. Gall (Joachim Vadian), to cities in… …   Wikipedia

  • Dutch Reformed Church — For other uses, see Dutch Reformed Church (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. Dutch Reformed Church Classification Protestant Orientation Reformed Origin …   Wikipedia

  • Reformed and Presbyterian churches — ▪ Christianity Introduction       name given to various Protestant churches that share a common origin in the Reformation in 16th century Switzerland. Reformed is the term identifying churches regarded as essentially Calvinistic in doctrine. The… …   Universalium

  • France —    During the Reformation, Protestantism spread rapidly and forcefully in France, and it took 150 years for the Roman Catholic Church to reestablish complete control. Tolerance was not achieved until the late 18th century, and the country s… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Reformed Ecumenical Council — The Reformed Ecumenical Council is an international organization of Calvinist Churches. It has 39 member denominations from 25 countries in its membership, and those churches have about 12 million people together. It was founded in 1946 as the… …   Wikipedia

  • France — • Geography, statistics, and history Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. France     France     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Church History —     Ecclesiastical History     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Ecclesiastical History     I. NATURE AND OFFICE     Ecclesiastical history is the scientific investigation and the methodical description of the temporal development of the Church… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Reformed Churches — • Protestant bodies which adopted the tenets of Zwingli and, later, the doctrinal principles of Calvin Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Reformed Churches     Reformed Churches …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • France — /frans, frahns/; Fr. /frddahonns/, n. 1. Anatole /ann nann tawl /, (Jacques Anatole Thibault), 1844 1924, French novelist and essayist: Nobel prize 1921. 2. a republic in W Europe. 58,470,421; 212,736 sq. mi. (550,985 sq. km). Cap.: Paris. 3.… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”