Reformed Church of Isselmere
The Reformed Church of Isselmere (RCI) is a Calvinist Christian denomination that was the established church of the Kingdom of Isselmere from 1684 until 2003. The RCI replaced the Lutheran Reformed Church — which became the Church of Isselmere — established by Hortense II in 1552, which itself displaced the Roman Catholic Church of Isselmere. Both the establishment and disestablishment of the RCI were achieved by acts of Parliament, respectively the Act of Toleration and the Disestablishment Act. In Isselmere-Nielander discourse, the RCI is known as the Conventional Symbolist tradition.
The disestablishment of the RCI caused the dissolution of the Temple Council that governed it. The Temple Council was a constituent body of the Council of State comprising of the monarch, his ecclesiastic advisors, and the General Assembly or Synod of the Reformed Church.
The RCI emerged from the brutal but short sectarian violence that preceeded the passing of Edmund II (r. 1651-1684). Alexander II (r. 1684-1723) maintained a constant vigil over his new Church and ensured that it prospered under his reign without causing undo unrest.
Whilst the established Reformed Church became inseparable from the Crown, it did not always capture the hearts of the monarch's subjects. In the absence of an episcopalian structure — in other words, bishops who could impose authority on their subordinates — some local ministers, especially those in distant areas or those simmering with discontent such as Anguist as well as parts of Detmere and Isselmere itself, began to dissociate themselves from the General Assembly. Usually, the Temple Council, emboldened by the authority of the Privy Council, crushed this dissent eventually, but not implacably.
By the middle of the eighteenth-century, a definitive division was noticeable within the Church between the Synodists — those who upheld the Temple Council — and the Congregationists who supported the believers' right to Holy Scripture as determined by the Supreme Being, which in fact meant following the interpretation of the congregation. The True Reformed Church had become fact by 1759, when the first ecclesiastic trial of a Congregationist minister was held by the Temple Council. Although the sentence of exile was imposed, the Temple Council could not stem the growing tide of dissent, especially not with such high-handed tactics.
The True Reformed Church fared little better against internal conflict than its parent Church. With the Agricultural Revolution of the eighteenth-century and the progress of industrialisation throughout the nineteenth-century, the urban Congregationist ministers were beset by errant believers and horrified by the grinding poverty of town life. Instead of preaching obedience and trying to browbeat their flock, some urban ministers supported their congregations in their plight and became Recalcitrants whilst others established missions in the growing slums encircling and within the towns, becoming Mendicants or as some called themselves, Missionites.
The established Reformed Church split along political lines, too. In 1727, supporters of expanded powers for the House of Assembly against the House of Lords and in particular the rights of the burghs against those of the nobility, became known as the Burghers, or as some called them, the Burrowers. This particular schism was a fine one, and one that typically dissolved in the face of other woes.
Recognition of the multicultural nature of the United Kingdom and pressure from the Royal Family for the acceptance of homosexual marriage led to the disestablishment of the Church. Robert VI and Geoffrey Walmsley, the prime minister, had discussed the possibility of disestablishment to further the separation of Church and State that both saw as a fundamental philosophical and moral policy in a modern nation. The refusal of the General Assembly of the Church to grant special dispensation for HRH Prince Edward the Duke of Huise, the third child of Robert VI and second eldest sibling of King Henry V, to marry his longtime partner, the Marquess of Langdon, within the Church. The conjunction of these two factors, along with the decline of overt religiosity within the United Kingdom and general sympathy toward Prince Edward, permitted Walmsley to press the Disestablishment Act through Parliament, albeit not without causing a violent schism within the governing Conservative Party.
The splitting off of the Loyal Monarchist Party (LMP) from the Conservatives led to a brief campaign of terror, culminating in the assassination of the Prime Minister shortly after Robert VI gave Royal Assent to the Disestablishment Act. The LMP attempted to dissociate itself from Walmsley's murder, but an assault on the perpetrators safe-house revealed the involvement of senior party members in the plot.
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