About Us

Dursley Tabernacle URC

The Tabernacle is located in Dursley town centre at the junction of Kingshill Road and Parsonage Street. It is an historic church with a proud heritage. The church traces its origins to the preaching of George Whitfield in 1742. It founded one of the first Sunday Schools in Britain. The present building dates from 1808. We celebrated our bicentenary by refurbishing the interior of the church and we have good disabled access.

We aim to be a place of welcome and laughter, of healing and hope, of friends and family and justice and new life.

It’s where you will hopefully find people learning to pray, coming to faith, working in the community, campaigning for global justice, struggling with temptation, finding new purpose and a new power to carry it out.  

It’s where people bring their own small faith and discover that when they get together with others to worship God, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

Why not come and look for yourself.

Dursley Tabernacle is a United Reformed Church, one of the mainstream Christian denominations. More about the URC can be found from their website www.urc.org.uk. We are part of the West Midlands Synod of the URC.

The Tabernacle is an historic church with a proud heritage. The church traces its origins to the preaching of George Whitfield in 1742. It founded one of the first Sunday Schools in Britain when William King a local factory owner set up a school on Sunday to teach his illiterate workers – a movement that led Robert Raikes to promote the idea of Sunday Schools worldwide and encourage the movement for free public education.

Our connection to the welfare of young people continues to this day, not only through our active work with our own church children and young people but also in that our former Parsonage on the back of the church has been converted into the town’s youth centre from where Dursley Town Council runs its youth service.

exterior with sign

Cafe space
Cafe space

The church has always had a servant heart for its local community and we encourage our members to make a difference in their local community as they follow Jesus. The church supports and hosts various groups such as the local Foodbank, Child Contact Centre, Open Door (Social Club for adults with learning disabilities), Connect-At (youth club for those on the autism spectrum) and a Family Café.

The present building dates from 1808. We celebrated our bicentenary by refurbishing the interior of the church.  The Church sanctuary seats 120 people on soft chairs and double that number in the pews and gallery. We have a sound system and plasma screen displays which are used throughout worship and for meetings. Morning worship is a blend between contemporary and traditional, informal and structured styles of worship. We have a fine organ as well as a music group for accompanying hymns and songs. Our preaching is biblical and follows various themes throughout the year. Sermons are usually put on this website.

Rev Simon Helme
Rev Simon Helme

Our minister, Simon Helme, has been in Dursley since 2001. He is also the minister of Quarry and Sharpness United Reformed Churches which are part of our pastorate. The Tab has a part time Development Worker, Carole Allen. The leadership of the church is by a team of elders but church members at church meeting have the final authority. We currently have about 140 church members of all ages and between 30-50 children and young people.  There are various groups and activities within the church to encourage its members in their faith and witness. Please follow the links for details.