Westminster Assembly

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Westminster Assembly, 1643. Set up by the Long Parliament to reform the English church, it consisted of 30 members of both houses and 121 ministers of varying opinions. Though most members favoured presbyterianism, a forceful minority of independents, to Scottish astonishment, opposed it. The Scots, despite wanting full-blown non-Erastian presbyterianism in England, agreed to the Solemn League and Covenant (1643), which resulted in English presbyterianism being firmly under parliamentary control. The assembly produced a calvinistic Directory of Worship (1644) to replace the Book of Common Prayer, the presbyterian Westminster Confession, and two presbyterian Westminster Catechisms, which were its most enduring work.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall