The Westminster Assembly was both the largest parliamentary committee of the English civil war and the last of the great post-Reformation synods. Although the assembly continued to operate until 1653, it was from 1643 to 1648, that the assembled clergy made their greatest contribution to reforming the Church of England and in bringing it into “nearest conjunction with the Church of Scotland.” During this period the assembly created a single ecclesiastical model to guide the churches of England, Scotland and Ireland in one confession of faith, one catechism, and one form of worship and church government. In drafting these texts the Westminster Assembly struggled to balance its purely advisory role as a Parliamentary committee with its obligation to obey scripture and stem the growing tide of sectarianism and doctrinal error in society.
In the end, the assembly produced six principal documents for the work of covenanted uniformity of religion between the three kingdoms, leaving an indelible mark on English, Scottish and American history as well as on millions of Presbyterian and Reformed congregants who for nearly four centuries have been, and continue to be, influenced and guided by these texts.
The Westminster Documents