Congregationalism is a type of Protestant Church that developed in the late 1500s and 1600s. Sometimes know as Independents, they believed that a church should be a group of self-governing believers rather than a state church with the backing of the government, or under the control of bishops or presbyteries. Famous Independents include Oliver Cromwell, Isaac Watts the hymn writer, and Jonathan Edwards. Many Congregationalists trace their origins back to 1662 when 2000 puritan clergymen were ejected from the Church of England. Martin Top Chapel was not around back then, but our forefathers' love of scripture and simple worship remains a part of our identity.
Early Congregationalist principles continue at Martin Top. We are a totally independent church and decisions are made by our members. We are a part of the Congregational Federation, but this is more of an umbrella group than a formal denomination. Its website is here: http://www.congregational.org.uk/
In 1972, many Congregationalist churches voted to join with the English Presbyterians to form the United Reform Church or URC. The members at Martin Top voted against joining this new denomination; we therefore retained our independence and evangelical spirit.